We have used a tight-binding model that is fit to first-principles electronic-structure calculations for titanium to calculate quasi-harmonic phonons and the Gibbs free energy of the hexagonal close-packed (hcp) and omega crystal structures. We show that the true zero-temperature ground-state is the omega structure, although this has never been observed experimentally at normal pressure, and that it is the entropy from the thermal population of phonon states which stabilizes the hcp structure at room temperature. We present the first completely theoretical prediction of the temperature- and pressure-dependence of the hcp-omega phase transformation and show that it is in good agreement with experiment. The quasi-harmonic approximation fails to adequately treat the bcc phase because the zero-temperature phonons of this structure are not all stable.
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