I’ve been playing around with phase diagrams, trying to figure out how exactly they work, what processes give rise to their properties, and what the boundaries look like. During this process I met with several frustrations, specifically the general lack of phase diagrams available to the public. There is some NIST software available on a demo basis, but the rest seems to be locked away behind proprietary licenses. In any case, Wikipedia proved marginally helpful and along with a few other resources I was able to get a general idea of the “normal” phases of materials.
But that only served to get me thinking… what are the limits? What’s off the edge of the maps? Super critical fluids, and exotic crystalline structures appear to be the answer… But how about even further? (more…)