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Negative materials: nature’s surprises

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Join us for the public lecture by Professor Martin Dove, Professor and Director of the Centre for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics.

Thursday 20 October 2016, 6.30pm
Skeel Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Lecture synopsis

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 developed 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.

The lecture will be followed by a networking drinks reception.

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), a recipient of a personal Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, and is Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Attendance is free of charge but you must book in advance:

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