Physicists have worked out how to melt any material

Science

melting cubes of ice

Predicting when solids will melt is more difficult than you might think

r.classen/Shutterstock

Physicists may finally have an answer for a seemingly simple question that has remained unanswered for about a century: when does a substance melt?

Kostya Trachenko at Queen Mary University of London found it mysterious that “in this age of scientific and technological development”, physicists do not always know how to predict at what temperature and pressure a material will melt. He has now derived an equation that can be used to make such predictions for a vast…

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