Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Metal Expansion
Name: lilac
Status: student
Age: 13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000


Question:
Why does metal expand?


Replies:
Dear Lilac,

Metal usually expands when heated because the atoms of the metal start to move faster when they have more energy. It's sort of like handing a piece of chocolate to a 5 year old; after they eat the chocolate, he or she starts running around and bouncing off the walls, right? The chocolate gives him/her more energy, so he/she moves around more and explores more space. Same with the metal atoms; when you heat the metal you give energy to the atoms and they move around more as a result.

best wishes,
prof. topper



Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory