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# the fractional change in length)
  • #alpha# is the expansion coefficient (depends on specific material), and
  • #DeltaT# is the temperature change experienced by the material

Phy 218 Review Notes - Prof. Ekey (original source unknown)

  • Area expansion:

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

  • Where #(DeltaA)/A_0# is the fractional change in area¬†

  • Every linear dimension increases by the same percentage with a change in temperature.

Phy 218 Review Notes - Prof. Ekey (original source unknown)

  • Volume expansion:

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

  • Where #(DeltaV)/V_0# is the fractional change in volume

Phy 218 Review Notes - Prof. Ekey (original source unknown)