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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 May 29;104(22):9182-6. Epub 2007 May 2.

Toward an internally consistent pressure scale.

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Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5251 Broad Branch Road, Washington, DC 20015, USA.


Our ability to interpret seismic observations including the seismic discontinuities and the density and velocity profiles in the earth's interior is critically dependent on the accuracy of pressure measurements up to 364 GPa at high temperature. Pressure scales based on the reduced shock-wave equations of state alone may predict pressure variations up to 7% in the megabar pressure range at room temperature and even higher percentage at high temperature, leading to large uncertainties in understanding the nature of the seismic discontinuities and chemical composition of the earth's interior. Here, we report compression data of gold (Au), platinum (Pt), the NaCl-B2 phase, and solid neon (Ne) at 300 K and high temperatures up to megabar pressures. Combined with existing experimental data, the compression data were used to establish internally consistent thermal equations of state of Au, Pt, NaCl-B2, and solid Ne. The internally consistent pressure scales provide a tractable, accurate baseline for comparing high pressure-temperature experimental data with theoretical calculations and the seismic observations, thereby advancing our understanding fundamental high-pressure phenomena and the chemistry and physics of the earth's interior.

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