We report time-resolved X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES) measurements of warm dense MgO. We used a high power nanosecond pulse to drive a strong uniform shock wave into an MgO sample, and a picosecond pulse to generate a broadband X-ray source near the Mg K-edge. We used this setup to obtain XANES spectra across a large area of the phase diagram, with densities up to 6.8 g/cc and temperatures up to 30 000 K, conditions at which no prior investigations of electronic and ionic structure exist. Our XANES results, together with quantum molecular dynamic simulations, demonstrate that the sample metallizes due to the bandgap closure as it melts, after which it shows typical behavior for a disordered ionic liquid.

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