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 Water Expansion with Temperature
Name: Rodney H.
Status: educator
Age: 60s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 7/23/2004


Question:
How much in percent will a given volume of water expand for every 20 degrees Fahrenheit it rises in temperature?


Replies:
Check out the web site: http://www.simetric.co.uk/index.htm and on the right hand column click "specific gravity water" scroll down and you will find the data you need.

Vince Calder


Rodney -

Sorry, you cannot get a one number answer, because the density versus temperature is not a straight line. It is a curve, almost a parabola. Liquid water has its maximum density at 3.98 degrees C, and expands for BOTH hotter and colder! At exactly 3.98 degrees C, the thermal expansion coefficient of water is actually zero.

Easy places to see this curve are:

http://www.ucdsb.on.ca/tiss/stretton/chem2/data19.htm

http://tidepool.st.usm.edu/crswr/ice.html

One property of a parabola is: its slope is proportional to your distance from the level point in the middle. So your "percent expansion per 20degF" is less than 0.1% near freezing, rising to almost 0.8% near boiling. The total expansion, from freezing to boiling, is 4.3%. You will have to figure out your most useful way to think about this variable expansion coefficient.

I found that curve-fitting it with a power of roughly 1.75 works better than a power of 2 (a pure parabola).

Jim Swenson



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