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Thermal Properties of Matter

(h) explain latent heat in terms of molecular behaviour.


The purpose of the latent heat to break bound among atoms. So if it is solid the
breaking of bounds would make it liquid and if it is liquid the breaking of bound would
make it gas.
(k) describe the relative order of magnitude of the expansion of solids, liquids
and gases.
When heat is supplied to a substance then its molecules gain kinetic energy. The
attraction between molecules become weak and molecules move further apart.
In Solids, bonds between atoms are strong therefore expansion in solids is small as
compared to gases. However, the smallest expansion is shown by liquids because as
soon as liquid molecules gain energy they just escape or turn into gases, therefore,
liquids shown negligible expansion
(l) list and explain some of the everyday applications and consequences of
thermal expansion.
A glass jar will break if you fill it half-full of very hot water. The top and bottom of the jar
want to be different sizes.
Concrete roads and sidewalks are built in sections, with space left between the
panels. Otherwise, they would crack on very cold days and heave and buckle on very
hot days.
The traditional way to fasten an iron rim to a wooden wheel (or put an iron hoop
around a wooden barrel) was to heat the rim red hot. This made it slightly larger, so that
the wheel could be forced into the rim; after the rim cooled and shrank, it was firmly held
in place. The modern version of this is that one should not mix bolts and nuts made of
different metals -- there will be a temperature range in which the bolt is larger than the
nut (and the nut is then frozen in place), and another range where the nut is bigger than
the bolt (and then it is not held in place securely).
A modern application of thermal expansion is in the design of the power plants for
nuclear submarines. Instead of trying to control the power level by pushing in and
pulling out control rods, the reactor is designed so that when it is too hot it expands
(which decreases the rate of reaction), and and when it is cool is contracts (which
increases the rate of power production). Thermal expansion eliminates the need for an
operator that never gets distracted or a complicated electrical circuit.
If the ocean becomes 1 degree (oF) warmer, its volume will increase by 0.01%. Since
the ocean is several miles deep, this implies that the surface will rise about a foot, giving
a change in the sea level. In the process, the beach line moves landwards 20 feet.
People owning beach houses (or even living close to the ocean) find this alarming.

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