Caution: Weird material shrinks when warm

8 octubre 2015

Most materials swell when warm, and shrink when cool. But some weird materials do the opposite. Although thermal expansion, and the cracking and warping that often result, occurs everyday — in buildings, electronics, and almost anything else exposed to wide temperature swings — physicists have trouble explaining why solids behave that way. New research into a material that has negative thermal expansion may lead to a better understanding of why materials change volume with temperature at all.