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Item AM051005: When a sealed plastic bottle filled with air is placed in the refrigerator, the bottle becomees dented because molecules of air inside the bottle get closer together.

You drink all of the water from a plastic bottle. You put the cap on the bottle and tighten it. Then you put the bottle in the refrigerator. An hour later, you notice that the bottle is dented. Why is the bottle dented after being cooled in the refrigerator?

  1. All the molecules of air went out of the bottle.
  2. Heat molecules inside the bottle were destroyed.
  3. The molecules of air inside the bottle broke down.
  4. The molecules of air inside the bottle got closer together.
Distribution of Responses
Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item AM051005
Students Responding Correctly
Group Correct Total Percent
Overall 2960 5456 54%
  6–8 1881 3784 50%
  9–12 1073 1661 65%
Primary Language

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NGSS does not address thermal expansion or contraction of matter.