In comparing a material's resistance to distort under mechanical load rather than to alter in volume, Poisson's ratio offers the fundamental metric by which to compare the performance of any material when strained elastically. The numerical limits are set by ½ and −1, between which all stable isotropic materials are found. With new experiments, computational methods and routes to materials synthesis, we assess what Poisson's ratio means in the contemporary understanding of the mechanical characteristics of modern materials. Central to these recent advances, we emphasize the significance of relationships outside the elastic limit between Poisson's ratio and densification, connectivity, ductility and the toughness of solids; and their association with the dynamic properties of the liquids from which they were condensed and into which they melt.
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We acknowledge support from the Higher Education Funding Coucil for Wales, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK), the Natural Environment Research Council (UK), the National Science Foundation (USA), and the Ministry of Research and Higher Education in France. We are also indebted to J. Grima, T. Kelly, C. Kurkjian, J. Orava, R. Reis and R. Walton for discussions in the preparation of this Review.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Greaves, G., Greer, A., Lakes, R. et al. Poisson's ratio and modern materials. Nature Mater 10, 823–837 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3134
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