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What causes thermal expansion?

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What causes thermal expansion?

It says in most textbooks this is caused by particles vibrating more gaining more energy and thus occupying more space etc (kinetic theory) but is there a more in depth answer to this as this seems to be over simplified.

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Thermal expansion is less considered as a mechanical phenomenon and more of a thermodynamic event. It is the result of increased free-volume that arises from the added vibrational (thermal) energy. The more you heat the material, the more it vibrates, creating additional free-volume around each molecule, thus expanding the volume of the part. ...

Solution Summary

In a 213 word solution, the concepts are clearly explained. It is discussed what causes thermal expansion.

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