University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > BPI Seminar Series > The interplay of stress and chemical processes in rocks: why it matters, what is explained, and some unsolved problems

The interplay of stress and chemical processes in rocks: why it matters, what is explained, and some unsolved problems

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The effect of pressure on chemical and phase equilibrium in crystalline materials is well understood. For example there is no basic argument about the circumstances under which pressure turns graphite into diamond. However the Earth and many manufactured crystalline materials around us are under stress. How does that alter the thermodynamics? This topic is currently controversial in Earth science. In this talk I outline some of the mathematics behind the question, and show how one key equation is substantiated by numerous different sorts of experiment. I then apply that equation to other scenarios and show that it predicts some odd and significant effects which are yet to be fully tested (for example big offsets in the conditions for solid state reactions). I will also describe some interesting mathematical problems that it leads to.

This talk is part of the BPI Seminar Series series.

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