Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 15 - Think and Discuss: 102

Answer

The gap in the ring will become wider.

Work Step by Step

When the metal ring is heated, it expands uniformly, as though a 3D picture of it were enlarged on a magical photocopier. The thickness, outer and inner circumference, and gap all expand by the same factor. Another way to think about this is that the gap will expand precisely as much as the thickness of a metal disk that tightly filled the gap. In other words, every part of the ring expands by the same factor when heated: thickness, circumference, gap distance, hole diameter, etc.
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