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Item AM042005: When a glass thermometer is placed in hot water, the level of liquid rises because the molecules get farther apart.

A glass thermometer has a colored liquid inside it. The level of colored liquid rises when the thermometer is placed in hot water.  Why does the level of liquid rise?

  1. Water molecules are pushed into the thermometer.
  2. Heat molecules push the molecules of the liquid upward.
  3. Heat causes the molecules of the liquid to get farther apart.
  4. The molecules of the liquid break down into atoms and take up more space.
Distribution of Responses
Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item AM042005
Students Responding Correctly
Group Correct Total Percent
Overall 1708 3814 45%
  6–8 1066 2699 39%
  9–12 640 1107 58%
Primary Language

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NGSS does not address thermal expansion or contraction of matter.