Thermal Expansion

  • Guglielmo VenturaEmail author
  • Mauro Perfetti
Part of the International Cryogenics Monograph Series book series (ICMS)


All solid materials, when cooled to low temperatures experience a change in physical dimensions which called “thermal contraction” and is typically lower than 1 % in volume in the 4–300 K temperature range. Although the effect is small, it can have a heavy impact on the design of cryogenic devices. The thermal contraction of different materials may vary by as much as an order of magnitude: since cryogenic devices are constructed at room temperature with a lot of different materials, one of the major concerns is the effect of the different thermal contraction and the resulting thermal stress that may occur when two dissimilar materials are bonded together. In this chapter, theory of thermal contraction is reported in Sect.  1.2. Section  1.3 is devoted to the phenomenon of negative thermal expansion and its applications.


Thermal Expansion Thermal Contraction Negative Thermal Expansion Anharmonic Term Constant Pressure Heat Capacity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INFNRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversità di FirenzeSesto FiorentinoItaly

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