Research Article

Negative Poisson's Ratios for Extreme States of Matter

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Science  16 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5473, pp. 2018-2022
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5473.2018

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Negative Poisson's ratios are predicted for body-centered-cubic phases that likely exist in white dwarf cores and neutron star outer crusts, as well as those found for vacuumlike ion crystals, plasma dust crystals, and colloidal crystals (including certain virus crystals). The existence of this counterintuitive property, which means that a material laterally expands when stretched, is experimentally demonstrated for very low density crystals of trapped ions. At very high densities, the large predicted negative and positive Poisson's ratios might be important for understanding the asteroseismology of neutron stars and white dwarfs and the effect of stellar stresses on nuclear reaction rates. Giant Poisson's ratios are both predicted and observed for highly strained coulombic photonic crystals, suggesting possible applications of large, tunable Poisson's ratios for photonic crystal devices.

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