High temperature experimentation with solid and especially liquid specimens faces numerous difficulties. Traditional static steady state techniques for the measurement of thermophysical properties are generally limited to temperatures of about 2300 K. This limitation is a result of chemical interaction of the specimens with the containers, the loss of mechanical strength, problems with heat transfer, evaporation and electrical insulation while the sample and its environment are kept for times up to hours at high temperatures.
Containerless investigation methods have been developed to avoid these difficulties and to permit the extension of the measurements to higher temperatures. These methods are on the one hand levitation techniques such as: Electromagnetic levitation, aerodynamic levitation, acoustic levitation, electrostatic levitation or microgravity levitation in space as well as drop-towers. On the other hand pulse heating techniques such ohmic pulse heating and laser pulse heating also can be called containerless techniques.
Properties of matter at high temperatures are useful for high-temperature technologies such as aerospace, nuclear energy and the establishment of temperature reference points, including applications which are subjected to high temperature - high pressure conditions, as well as input data for modeling, which got very popular recently in steel working industry to simulate casting and welding processes and in jewelry industry to reduce reject due to defects.