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Solids expand on heating because


A

Kinetic energy of the atoms increases

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B

Potential energy of the atoms increases

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C

Total energy of the atoms increases

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D

The potential energy curve is asymmetric about the equilibrium distance between neighbouring atoms

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Solution

The correct option is D

The potential energy curve is asymmetric about the equilibrium distance between neighbouring atoms


The expansion of solids can be well understood by potential energy curve for two adjacent atoms in a crystalline solid as a function of their internuclear separation (r).

At ordinary temperature : Each molecule of the solid vibrate about it' s equilibrium position P1 between A and B (r0 is the equilibrium distance of it from some other molecule)

At high temperature : Amplitude of vibration increase (C « D and E « F). Due to asymmetry of the curve, the equilibrium positions (P2 and P3) of molecule displaced. Hence it's distance from other molecule increases (r2 > r1 > r0).

Thus, on raising the temperature, the average equilibrium distance between the molecules increases and the solid as a whole expands.


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