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Heating and cooling a metal at the same time

  1. Nov 12, 2014 #1
    What happens if a metal is heated and cooled at the same point at the same time??
    will it expand or contract??
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2014 #2


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    Gold Member

    Hi. That's a rather ambiguous question. Can you be more specific?
  4. Nov 12, 2014 #3
    what is the overall effect-expansion or compression ??
  5. Nov 12, 2014 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    You can't heat and cool at the same location at the same time. But you can heat and cool simultaneously two nearby points. So, part on the heated side will expand and part on the cooled side will contract.
  6. Nov 12, 2014 #5
    OK, you could for instance put a small metal marble in cold water and at the same time heat it with a radiative heat source like the sun. It is a 'point' that will be 'heated and cooled' at the same time, meaning there is a heat source a heat sink for the metal at the same time and location. But the metal will expand or contract only when the temperature of the metal changes. When the net temperature of the metal remains constant, it will not expand or contract.
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