, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 61-65

On the thermal expansion of β-cristobalite

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We have measured the temperature dependence of the cell parameter of cubic β-cristobalite up to 1300° C by high-precision X-ray powder diffraction. The thermal expansion coefficient decreases on heating, until above 1000° C the cell parameter is virtually constant in value. We discuss this change in the thermal expansion with reference to the behaviour of low-frequency rigid unit modes and fluctuations associated with the α-β phase transition.