Multi-anvil devices are extensions in three dimensions of Bridgman’s opposed anvils. The latter are not strictly two-dimensional but since the samples are compressed into extremely thin wafers this approximate generalization may be made. By adapting the principle of massive support to apparatus with four or more anvils it has been possible to apply pressures up to 100 kb to sample volumes of several cubic centimetres and upwards. The first person to successfully build such an apparatus was H. T. Hall at Brigham Young University, Utah, who used four anvils with triangular faces to generate pressure in a solid tetrahedron1. Obviously other configurations are possible but since the degree of complexity rises rapidly with the number of anvils the only other one to have been developed to any extent is a cubic device with six square-faced anvils2,3.
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