Linear expansion coefficient

The coefficient of linear thermal expansion is the ratio of the change in length per degree K to the length at 273 K.

The coefficient of volume expansion is about three times the linear coefficient. The value of the coefficient is temperature dependent. See literature references for data at other temperatures

image showing Linear expansion coefficient: period 5spd periodicity for 5s, 5p, and 5d chemical elements


106 K-1


If l0 is the length at 273 K, alpha is the coefficient of linear thermal expansion, then the length at temperature t is given by:

lt = l0(1 + alpha.t)

Literature sources

  1. D.R. Lide, (Ed.) in Chemical Rubber Company handbook of chemistry and physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 79th edition, 1998.
  2. A.M. James and M.P. Lord in Macmillan's Chemical and Physical Data, Macmillan, London, UK, 1992.
  3. G.W.C. Kaye and T.H. Laby in Tables of physical and chemical constants, Longman, London, UK, 15th edition, 1993.
  4. J.A. Dean (ed) in Lange's Handbook of Chemistry, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA, 14th edition, 1992.