Does Water Temperature Cause Metal to Expand and Contract?
Grade Level: 3rd-5th; Type: Chemistry
Discover how water temperature affects metal.
- Does metal change in response to temperature?
- What happens when a metal contracts or expands?
All matter tends to change shape and volume in response to changes in temperature, a process called thermal expansion. In this experiment, we'll observe the effects of thermal expansion on metal, which is an excellent conductor for heat.
- Two identical containers with tight-fitting metal vacuum lids, such as pickle jars
- Hot and cold running water
- Protective gloves
- Stop watch
- Run cold water over one container, right side up, for 30 minutes. Then try to open it. Time how long it takes to open.
- Now run hot water over the second container for 30 minutes. Time how long it takes to open.
- Record your results.
Terms/Concepts: Molecular order; contraction/expansion in relevance to heat; Metals
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