Not only people need to stay cool, especially in a summer of record-breaking heat waves. Many machines, including cellphones, data centers, cars and airplanes, become less efficient and degrade more quickly in extreme heat. Machines generate their own heat, too, which can make hot temperatures around them even hotter.

We are engineering researchers who study how machines manage heat and ways to effectively recover and reuse heat that is otherwise wasted. There are several ways extreme heat affects machines.

No machine is perfectly efficient – all machines face some internal friction during operation. This friction causes machines to dissipate some heat, so the hotter it is outside, the hotter the machine will be.

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Streets crack under heat because higher temperatures create more space between vibrating molecules, causing the material to expand and deform. Priscila Zambotto/Moment via Getty Images
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