# Heat vs expansion physics

barcat
The question is- In the metal object below, will the gap between the
ends of (B) and (C) become narrower, wider, or remain unchanged if heated?
Code:
                    ____________
|          |
|          | (B)
|          |
|
(A)|
|
|          |
|          | (C)
|          |
------------
This question has been on our class discussion board for
two weeks. The class is split 50/50.

"My thinking is this. Being that the total continuous
length of the metal of side (A) is longer than the sum
of sides (B+C), and we know that longer objects of the
same material (with the same expansion coefficient)expand
more, this would mean that the gap between (B) and (C)
would get wider because the total expansion of (B + C)
would never be equal to or longer than (A)."

Am I off base here?

Last edited:

Mentor
You are exactly right. The expansion affects every linear dimension--including the gap--in the same way.