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The two phases of cristobalite at ambient pressure. The phase transition involves rotations of the tetrahedra, as seen in this projection of the structures of the two phases. The high-temperature cubic phase has many low-energy rigid unit modes, which allow the tetrahedra to have disordered orientations to avoid formation of the linear Si–O–Si bonds seen in this average structure.

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Earth Sciences at Cambridge

Saturday 22 September 2018: A one-day conference bringing together international scientists to mark 200 years since Adam Sedgwick was appointed to the Woodwardian Chair of Geology.

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