Negative materials: nature’s surprises
Join Professor Martin Dove for his public lecture on Thursday 20th October 2016.
The lecture will be followed by a networking reception.
Common experience, together with a bit of knowledge about how atoms work together, tells us that materials expand when heated, and get stiffer when squashed. We expect no exceptions, yet in recent years we are finding an increasing number of materials whose behaviour is exactly the opposite of our intuition; these are often called “negative materials”. I will describe the types of material that show negative thermal expansion (shrinking instead of expanding when heated) and discuss the ideas we have recently develop to explain this phenomenon. This work has led us to predict that materials that show negative thermal expansion will also show another negative property, that of becoming elastically softer when compressed, which I will also discuss.
Meet our Professor:
Professor Martin Dove obtained his BSc and PhD degrees in Physics from the University of Birmingham, then carried out post-doctoral work in Edinburgh and Cambridge before obtaining a faculty position in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge. He became a full Professor in Cambridge in 2003, moving to Queen Mary University of London as Director of the Centre for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics in 2011. Martin’s research interests are broadly around the area of disordered materials and structure–property relationships, with more specific interests that include phase transitions, amorphous materials, negative thermal expansion, and radiation damage. His work involves both neutron/x-ray scattering and computer simulation as his main techniques. He is the primary developer of the Reverse Monte Carlo method applied to total scattering data from crystalline materials, and of the Rigid Unit Mode model to understand phase transitions and negative thermal expansion in network materials. He is a past winner of the Philips Physical Crystallography Prize (British Crystallographic Association), and recipient of a personal Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, and is Fellow of the Institute of Physics.