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# Physics 211 Lab 10 Temperature Scales and Linear Expansion

Introduction: In this lab you will measure and record temperature data to determine the relationship between the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. You will plot and analyze the data using a spreadsheet. Also, the thermal expansion of some metals will be investigated and their coefficients of linear expansion determined. Although this effect is small, it is important in many material applications. For example, a piston could stick in its cylinder, a rivet could loosen, or a bridge girder could produce damaging stress. Theory: Review of Linear Relationships: Experiments are normally planned so that only one quantity is varied at a time. The varied quantity is called the independent variable. The measured quantity is called the dependent variable, because its value depends on what you have done with the independent variable. Customarily, the independent variable is placed on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis. A line, such as the one shown in Figure 1, that is drawn between experimental linear data points is called a best-fit line, or sometimes as regression line.
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0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12

Figure 1 best fit line A best-fit-line does not go directly from point to point, but rather averages out measurement errors by minimizing the total error from each individual data point. The best-fit-line allows for the prediction of data points in places where no experimental data was collected. All linear relationships can be described by the general equation: y = mx + b where m= y 2 y1 x 2 x1

Here x and y are the experimental quantities measured, and m (slope) and b (y-intercept) are constants defining the linear relationship between the two quantities. Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales: The Fahrenheit temperature scale is still widely used in the United States. However, the rest of the world and the scientific community in the

United States use the Celsius temperature scale. Fortunately, a definite linear relationship exists between these two temperature scales. Using this relationship, conversions between the two temperature scales can easily be accomplished: T ( F ) = 1.8T (C ) + 32 or T (C ) = T ( F ) 32 1.8

Thermal Expansion: In solids, a temperature change leads to the expansion of a body as a whole. (A contraction resulting from a temperature decrease is a negative expansion.) The change in the solids, length, width, or thickness, is called linear expansion for any one of its dimensions. This may be different for different directions; however, if the expansion is the same in all directions it is referred to as isotropic expansion. The expansion is a metal rod is shown in Figure 2. Lo
Rod at T = T1 Rod at T = T1 + T

L Figure 2 Linear expansion of a solid The fractional change in length L/L0, where L0 is the length of the object at the initial temperature T0, is related to the change in temperature T to a good approximation by

L/L0 = T
Here L = L L0 (the change in length), T = T T0 (the change in temperature), and is the coefficient of linear expansion (sometimes called the thermal expansion coefficient), with units of inverse temperature (1/0C). The coefficient of linear expansion, , is very nearly constant over a wide temperature range. Solving the equation above for defines it in terms of experimentally measurable quantities

= L/( L0T)
Hence, by measuring the initial length L0 of an object (e.g., a metal rod) at an initial temperature T0 and the change in its length L for a corresponding temperature change T, can be computed.

3. Assemble the apparatus, placing one of the rods in the steam jacket. Initially have one end of the rod placed firmly against the fixed end screw and the other end not touching the micrometer screw. Carefully turn the micrometer screw until it just makes contact with the rod. Do not force the screw. Record the micrometer setting. Do this three times and take the average as the initial setting. As soon as the initial micrometer setting is taken, read and record the initial temperature T0. Then, wet a rubber stopper and carefully insert the thermometer bulb through it so the entire bulb emerges from the small end of the stopper. 4. Turn the micrometer screw back from the end of the rod several millimeters to allow for the thermal expansion of the rod with increasing temperature. With the steam generator about one-half full, turn on the hot plate and boil the water. Attach the rubber tubing to the apparatus so that steam passes through the jacket. Caution: Be careful not to burn yourself with the condensed hot water in the steam jacket, the steam jacket itself, or the copper container. Place the thermometer in the steam jacket so that is just touches the metal rod. Allow steam to pass through the jacket until the thermometer reading stabilizes (this may take about 15 minutes). 5. When equilibrium has been reached, record the thermometer reading. Then carefully advance the micrometer screw until it touches the end of the rod and record the micrometer setting. Do this three times and take the average of the micrometer readings. Turn off the heat source. 6. Repeat procedures 3 and 4 for two other types of metal rods. Caution: Be careful not to burn yourself with the condensed hot water in the steam jacket, the steam jacket itself, or the hot rod when you remove it. 7. Compute L and T, and find the coefficient of linear expansion for each metal. Questions 1) Compare your computer oC/ oF graph equation to the exact equation. What factors could account for a slightly different equation for the lines? 2) Convert the following temperatures to oC. 70oF=_____________ oC Equation used: __________________________ 20 oF=_____________ oC

100oF=____________ oC

o

## Equation used: __________________________

o

20oC =

25oC =

4) Compare your values for the thermal expansion coefficient of the different metal samples with the accepted values by computing the percent errors.

Name _____________________________

## Report Sheet for Lab 10 Temperature and Linear Expansion

Part 1 Temperature Scales Use Microsoft EXCEL to record and graph your data Calculate % error in slope of line here:

Part 2 Thermal Expansion Metal # 1 Initial Values Lo = ____________ _________ _________ To = ____________ _______ Avg: ___________ _______ Avg: ___________

## Calculation of Linear Expansion Coefficient for Metal # 1

Metal # 2 Initial Values Lo = ____________ _________ _________ To = ____________ _______ Avg: ___________ _______ Avg: ___________