Thermal Expansion

Topics: Thermodynamics, Gas, Temperature Pages: 2 (644 words) Published: April 17, 2011
Thermal expansion is the tendency of matter to change in volume in response to a change intemperature.[1] All materials have this tendency. When a substance is heated, its particles begin moving more and thus usually maintain a greater average separation. Materials which contract with increasing temperature are rare; this effect is limited in size, and only occurs within limited temperature ranges. The degree of expansion divided by the change in temperature is called the material's coefficient of thermal expansion and generally varies with temperature. -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Predicting expansion
If an equation of state is available, it can be used to predict the values of the thermal expansion at all the required temperatures andpressures, along with many other state functions. [edit]Contraction effects

A number of materials contract on heating within certain temperature ranges; this is usually called negative thermal expansion, rather than "thermal contraction". For example, the coefficient of thermal expansion of water drops to zero as it is cooled to roughly 4 °C and then becomes negative below this temperature, this means that water has a maximum density at this temperature, and this leads to bodies of water maintaining this temperature at their lower depths during extended periods of sub-zero weather. Also, fairly pure silicon has a negative coefficient of thermal expansion for temperatures between about 18 kelvin and 120 kelvin.[2] [edit]Factors

Unlike gases or liquids, solid materials tend to keep their shape when undergoing thermal expansion. Thermal expansion generally decreases with increasing bond energy, which also has an effect on the hardness of solids, so, harder materials are more likely to have lower thermal expansion. In general, liquids expand slightly more than solids. The thermal expansion of glasses is higher compared to that of crystals [3]. At the glass transition temperature, rearrangements...
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