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Using extended time-series scanning transmission electron microscopy, we investigate structural fluctuations at an incommensurate grain boundary in Au. Atomic-resolution imaging reveals the coalescence of two interfacial steps, or disconnections, of different height via coordinated motion of atoms along close-packed directions. Numerical simulations uncover a transition pathway that involves constriction and expansion of a characteristic stacking fault often associated with grain boundaries indoi:10.1103/physrevlett.116.106102 pmid:27015493 fatcat:z3purou725f2tjj37pqhanbmxq