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Thermal expansion of a shell

  1. Dec 8, 2007 #1
    [SOLVED] thermal expansion

    hi everybody
    my question is:
    a spherical shell is heated. the volume changes according to the equation V(T)=V(0)(1+yT) where y=volume coeff. of thermal expansion. does this volume refer to the volume enclosed by the shell or the volume of the material making up the shell?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2007 #2
    By the shell itself. A spherical shell and a solid one (same dia. and material) should be expanding to the same size.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2007 #3

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    It doesn't matter. All volumes expand by the same fraction, whether you take the volume of the shell material or the volume enclosed by the shell. When the material expands, so does the volume it encloses.
     
  5. Dec 9, 2007 #4
    let me put it in another way. if the shell of radius R has a spherical cavity of radius r, what will be the change in the two radii on heating? will the increase in both be 'aT' where a=linear coeff of thermal expansion?
     
  6. Dec 9, 2007 #5

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes. Assuming the material is isotropic, all linear dimensions expand by the same fraction.
     
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