# What is the idea of Thermal Expansion?

##### 1 Answer

Oct 15, 2017

See below.

#### Explanation:

The idea of **thermal expansion** is that a material can **change in shape/area/volume** in response to a **change in temperature**.

There are three general types of thermal expansion: linear, area, and volume.

**Linear expansion:**

#color(blue)((DeltaL)/L_0=alphaDeltaT)# Where:

#L_0# is the original length of the material#DeltaL# is the change in length (making#(DeltaL)/L_0# thefractionalchange in length)#alpha# is theexpansion coefficient(depends on specific material), and#DeltaT# is the temperature change experienced by the material

**Area expansion:**

#color(red)((DeltaA)/A_0=2alphaDeltaT)#

Where

#(DeltaA)/A_0# is thefractionalchange in areaEvery linear dimension increases by the same percentage with a change in temperature.

**Volume expansion:**

#color(purple)((DeltaV)/V_0=3alphaDeltaT)#

- Where
#(DeltaV)/V_0# is thefractionalchange in volume