How Temperature Affects Density

The first step in understanding how temperature affects density is to know what temperature and density are. Temperature is the numerical measure of cold and hot. It is measured by detecting heat radiation, kinetic energy, particle velocity, and the thermometric material’s behavior. Temperature can be calibrated as Celsius, Kelvin and Fahrenheit among other temperature scales.

On the other hand, density is volumetric mass density. It refers to mass per the unit volume of a substance. In mathematics, density is achieved by dividing volume by mass. Density is the physical property of a substance that compares relationship that its mass and volume have.

Temperature affects density because increase in temperature increases the kinetic energy of particles that make up the substance. A substance that has more kinetic energy is warmer and its particles will move faster. When particles that make a substance move faster they will reduce its density. Thus, kinetic energy is affected by temperature which in return affects the density of the substance.

Increase in temperature makes the air less dense making it to rise up. This is called the low pressure system. When the temperatures are reduced, density of air increased. This is called high pressure system. Thus, temperature affects the density of air as well.

When temperatures are extremely high or low, they can cause change in the phase of a substance. For instance, a substance can change from solid to liquid and then to gas. When temperatures are low a substance can change from gas to liquid and then to solid. This affects the volume and subsequently the density of the substance.

Increase in temperature causes expansion of objects making them larger. Decreased temperatures cause construction of objects which make them smaller. Through expansion and contraction, temperature caused increase or decrease of the density of different objects.

It is important to note that temperature affects the number of molecules occupying a certain are only. Temperature cannot affect the number of neutrons and protons in an atom. Density refers to mass of a material per the unit volume. As such, gases have lower density when compared to substances in condensed phase.

Density of most substances is also lower when they are in liquid phase than when in solid phase. However, this is not always the case for all substances. For instance, water in liquid state has higher density than in solid state. This explains why ice cubes always float on water. Temperature is related to average kinetic energy of molecules or atoms in a substance. Gases have volume that is directly proportional to the temperature.

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Sources

http://butane.chem.uiuc.edu/pshapley/GenChem1/L21/2.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Density

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5521664_temperature-effects-density.html