Physical Properties: Knowing, Guessing, and Measuring

  • Guy K. White
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 30)


For over thirty years I have been measuring some of the physical properties of solids (conductivity, expansion, heat capacity) at low temperatures and also answering technical enquiries about these properties. This experience has convinced me that relatively few people are familiar with the available data sources and know whether these provide a good enough answer to their queries. The “relatively few” are the researchers who specialise in low temperature measurement and who know not only the published titles but also know other experts in their “invisible college” or old boy network. But most of those who need data are interdisciplinary people — engineers, biologists, geologists — who often are not able to decide whether particular tabulated data on the conductivity of say, stainless steel or ice are applicable to their problem or to their particular material. This brief talk aims to distinguish between those situations where we can use information with confidence from published tables and those situations where we cannot and therefore must measure it ourselves.


Heat Capacity Electrical Resistivity Debye Model Liquid Helium Temperature Invisible College 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy K. White
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of Applied PhysicsSydneyAustralia

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