Question

1. What does a (alpha), the coefficient of linear expansion, tell us about a substance? Can...

1. What does a (alpha), the coefficient of linear expansion, tell us about a substance? Can a (alpha) be negative? Explain what this means. Can it be zero? Explain.

2. What material has the grater coefficient of linear expansion, aluminum or brass?

3. In general, what would a negative number for the value of a (alpha) mean? Name a common substance which exibits this behavior and under what conditions. (Hint: it is a liquid)

Homework Answers

Answer #1

1) When the temperature of a substance increases, its intermolecular energy stored in intermolecular bonds increases resulting in increase in the length of bonds. As a result of which, solid typically expands while heating and contracts while cooling. This Dimesional Representation of Linear Expansion( basically the expansion/contraction in linear dimensions) is representated by Coefficient of Linear Expansion given by

  

2) Aluminium

3) Yes it can be negative but for limited cases only. There are some materials which undrrgo contraction on heating thereby having negative cofficient of linear expansion. For eg: Cubic Zirconium Tungstate (ZrW2O8).

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