The structural behavior of Cu64.5Zr35.5 bulk metallic glass under compressive stress was investigated by means of in situ high energy x-ray synchrotron diffraction. The topological and chemical short-range order of the glass changes reversible upon loading within the elastic range. The number density of Cu–(Zr,Cu) and Zr–Zr nearest neighbor atomic pairs becomes oriented along the loading direction. The macroscopic stress state is reflected by the medium-range order. The determination of the components of the strain tensor from the shift of the positions of the nearest neighbor distances is not possible due to the structure changes.

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