Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science

Titanium Atom That Exists in Two Places at Once in Crystal to Blame for Unusual Phenomenon

December 07, 2020

Crystals are usually good at conducting heat. By definition, their atomic structure is highly organized, which allows atomic vibrations—heat—to flow through them as a wave. Austin Minnich, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, has discovered why a perfect crystal is not good at conducting heat, although it seemingly should be. "We have found that quantum mechanical effects can play a huge role in setting the thermal transport properties of materials even under familiar conditions like room temperature," says Austin Minnich. [Caltech story]

Professor Garnet Chan

Professor Garnet Chan

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE KNI Austin Minnich