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Simplifying the theory of the Invar effect in iron-nickel alloys

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Zero-temperature ab initio calculations of the lattice spacing of disordered iron-nickel alloys are presented. These show a strong negative correlation between the lattice spacing and the number of nearest-neighbour iron-iron pairs with antiparallel local moments. Based on the conjecture that this correlation persists at non-zero temperature, a simple theory is formulated that reproduces several experimental results on this class of Invar materials. We conclude that an alloy shows the Invar effect if the concentration of such pairs increases sufficiently rapidly over a broad interval of temperature.

Some of this work is available as a preprint, arXiv:0811.3673.

This talk is part of the Irregular seminars in TCM series.

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