Linear Expansion Lab

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Experimental Procedure

The goal of this experiment is to understand how objects expand when heated.

Equipment needed:

  1. Long iron nail (2-3 inches)
  2. String
  3. Boiling pot of water
  4. Thermometer

Read the instructions completely before starting the experiment.

Experimental Procedure:

Consider a nail of initial length at room temperature.

Now suspend the nail with a string and immerse it in boiling water (without touching the sides of the container) for about 2 minutes.

Let the temperature of the boiling water be.

Carefully pull out the nail from the boiling water, and measure its new final length (before it cools down).

Complete the following table





The coefficient of linear expansion is defined so that


From the above equation we see that

has unit

. From the data above, and equation (1), find for your iron nail.


Complete this word file with actual data, and submit it in module VI under the link Week 6: Linear Expansion Lab quiz. Fill all the numerical values in blue color.


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