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Chapter 1: Introduction to low temperatures materials and mechanisms



Ray Radebaugh


Operating at cold temperatures is essential to many processes in numerous fields of science and engineering including refrigeration, space exploration, electronics, physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, and medicine. Increasingly, there is a growing interest in technologies that are applicable at low temperatures for planetary exploration of bodies in the solar system that are extremely cold. These include potential NASA in-situ exploration missions to Europa and Titan where ambient temperatures are around -200oC. Elsewhere, as a method of slowing or halting chemical and biological processes, cooling is widely used to preserve food and chemicals, as well as biological tissues and organs. Further, cooling is used to increase electrical conductivity leading to superconductors that enable such applications as levitation, highly efficient electromagnets, etc. The subject of low temperature materials and mechanisms is multidisciplinary including chemistry, material science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, and physics. The book covers some of the key aspects of the field including the chemistry and thermodynamics [Chapter 2], materials science [Chapters 3], the methods of characterizations [Chapter 4] as well as nondestructive testing and health monitoring [Chapter 5], the methods of cooling to cryogenic temperatures [chapter 6], actuation materials and mechanisms [Chapters 7 and 8], instruments for planetary exploration [Chapter 9], methods of drilling in ice [Chapter 10], applications to medicine and biology [Chapter 11], sensors and electronics for low temperatures [Chapters 12 and 13], example of an applications in physics [Chapter 14]. Given the health hazards that are associated with working at cryogenic temperatures a chapter was dedicated to this topic too [Chapter 16]. This chapter is an introduction to the physical parameters, methods of generating cryogenic temperatures, and the measurement of temperature,
Low Temperature Materials and Mechanisms
Publisher Info
CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL


applications, cryocoolers, cryogenics, low temperatures, materials, mechanisms, superconductivity


Radebaugh, R. (2016), Chapter 1: Introduction to low temperatures materials and mechanisms, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, [online], (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created August 18, 2016, Updated October 13, 2020