# Coeff. of Linear Exp. of glass from vol expansion of content

## Homework Statement

The coefficient of volume expansion of olive oil is 0.68 × 10-3 K-1. A 1-liter glass beaker is
filled to the brim with olive oil at room temperature. The beaker is placed on a range and the
temperature of the oil and beaker increases by 25 C°. As a result, 0.0167 liters of olive oil spill
over the top of the beaker. What is the coefficient of linear expansion of glass?

## Homework Equations

ΔV = βViΔT
ΔV = (3α)ViΔT
β = Coefficient of Volume Expansion
α = Coefficient of Linear Expansion

## The Attempt at a Solution

Vi = 1.0 L (for both olive oil and the beaker)
Ti = 20°C = 293.15 K
ΔT = 25°C = 298.15 K
Vlost = 0.0167 L
βolive = 0.68x10-3 K-1
αglass = ?

Calculate volume expansion of beaker
ΔVolive = (0.68x10-3 K-1) * (1.0 L) * (298.15 K)
= 0.202742 L

ΔVglass = ΔVolive - Vlost
= 0.202742 L - 0.0167 L
= 0.186042 L (Volume increase for glass beaker)

Calculate Coefficient of Linear Expansion for Glass Beaker
0.186042 L = (3αglass)(1.0 L)(298.15 K)
0.186042 L = 894.45 L⋅K * αglass
αglass = 0.186042 L / (894.45 L⋅K)
= 0.000208 / K = 2.1x10-4 K-1

This is very close to one of the actually answers (there are 5). One of them is 2x10-5 K-1. The teacher has said that he has removed the correct answer for some of the questions, and that we are to explain why are answer is correct if that is the case. Is my answer correct? If not, what did I do wrong?

SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
Hint: think significant figures. Does your result carry the correct number of significant figures?

I believe so. There is 1 significant figure (the 1 liter volume), so the answer I would have is 2x10-4.

But the issue isn't the sig. figs. (at least I don't think), it's the exponent. My answer has 2x10-4, while the closest answer is 2x10-5. I've gone over my calculations and I believe I have done it correctly.

SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
I believe so. There is 1 significant figure (the 1 liter volume), so the answer I would have is 2x10-4.

But the issue isn't the sig. figs. (at least I don't think), it's the exponent. My answer has 2x10-4, while the closest answer is 2x10-5. I've gone over my calculations and I believe I have done it correctly.
You're getting confused on how to deal with temperatures in your calculations.

Remember, degrees Kelvin and degrees Celsius use the same temperature scale, but each scale has a different starting point. For the change in temperature ΔT of 25 °C, you have assumed that this is the same as a temperature of 298.15 °K, which is wildly incorrect for calculating a change in volume.

But if 20°C (293.15 K) is the initial temperature and the final temperature is Ti + ΔT = 20°C + 25°C = 293.15 K + 298.15 K = 591.3 K, and ΔT is Tf - Ti, then isn't ΔT = 591.3 K - 293.15 K = 298.15 K? What am I missing? Don't they give the change in temp right away? :(

SteamKing
Staff Emeritus