Technological developments such as the diamond anvil cell and multiple anvils have made it possible to precisely control pressures into the 100 GPa regime. Similarly cryogenic cooling, resistive heating and heating with IR lasers allow controlled temperature environments from a few Kelvin to up to 5000 K. The X-rays produced at 3rd generation synchrotrons such as Diamond are able to penetrate the complex sample assemblies required to create high temperature and pressure environments. This enables the study of previously inaccessible extreme environments, such as deep within the Earth, and the study of the new physics and chemistry that takes place in these environments.
Studies of Earth and Planetary Interiors
Scientists will be able to explore changes in mineral structure and properties, melting, and mineral and rock deformation relevant to deep planetary interiors. The techniques used will also have applications in studies of polar ice environments, bio-materials, and rheology of composite materials (of relevance to ceramics engineers).
Solid-state chemistry and materials science
Solid state chemistry is only just beginning to be explored under extreme conditions, revealing new polymeric and framework forms of various compounds. Extreme conditions experiments will result in new solid state chemistry and will be combined with theory to predict new materials and their properties.
High pressures and temperatures are becoming important in materials design and ‘origins of life’ research.
Condensed Matter Physics
Phase transistions and structures.
Warm dense matter
Optical response of matter and dynamical coupling between ion and electron subsystems.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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