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ERIC Number: EJ859349
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Using a Michelson Interferometer to Measure Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of Copper
Scholl, Ryan; Liby, Bruce W.
Physics Teacher, v47 n5 p306-308 May 2009
When most materials are heated they expand. This concept is usually demonstrated using some type of mechanical measurement of the linear expansion of a metal rod. We have developed an alternative laboratory method for measuring thermal expansion by using a Michelson interferometer. Using the method presented, interference, interferometry, and the principle of thermal expansion can be taught concurrently. The material is accessible to undergraduates and advanced high school physics students.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A