Glass Jar

You may notice that sometimes it is difficult to open the metal lid that is tightly wound over a glass jar. Now that you have learned that different substances expand at a different rate, explain how you would open the metal lid and the physics behind.


41 thoughts on “Glass Jar

  1. One way is by heating the metal lid (using hot water, for instance). As the temperature increases, the metal lid expands. Actually the glass will also expand. However, we know that the coefficient of thermal expansion of metal is bigger than that of glass. Therefore, the lid will expand faster than the glass. This makes the contact between the lid and the glass less tight, and now the jar is easier to open.

  2. I agree with the above idea, but I think we can add in some tips in order to make the opening easier and more physics-related:
    + the hot water is supposed to be hot enough in order to make a adequate expansion between the lid and the glass
    + The lid is supposed to be heated in such a way that the heat is distributed equally onto it parts. We do not heat only 1 specific place of the lid but also the whole lid so that the whole lid can expand in the same rate and make it easier to open.

  3. There are 2 ways to solve this problem.
    Firstly, since the metal expands more than the glass upon heating, we can pour hot water over the metal cap to expand it so that it is not tightly attached to the glass jar anymore.
    Another method is by attached rubber bands to the metal lid. This method has nothing to do with expansion. Instead, it increases the friction between the cap and our hands so we can exert a larger force on the lid without our hands slipping off the metal cap.

  4. Immerse the metal lid of the jar in hot water for a few seconds. Since metal expands faster than glass when its temperature is increased, it will reduce the tightness thus easier to open the lid.

  5. Pour hot water over the lid of the jar. This works because of several reasons:

    1. Metal is a much better conductor of heat than glass, and so will absorb heat much faster than the glass.
    2. Should the expansion coefficient of metal be larger than glass, this will cause the metal lid to expand at a much faster rate than glass.
    3.Because of this, the lid will loosen.
    4. Even if the expansion coefficient of metal is smaller than that of glass, because the hot water is being applied directly to the metal, the metal cap will expand more than the glass, loosening it.

  6. We can immerse the lid in hot water or lightly hover the lid (just the part with the lid) over a flame in order to allow the metal lid to expand thus loosening it and making it relatively easier to unscrew the metal lid. This can be effective as metal has a greater expansion coefficient as compared to glass thus enabling the metal to expand more than the glass in the same amount of time. However, pouring hot water over the lid directly might not be advisable as the hot water might touch areas of the glass thus causing it to expand as well thus making the method less effective.

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  8. I would open the metal lid by running hot water over it. At room temperature, molecules vibrate with small amplitude. When the metal lid is in contact with the hot water, the molecules in the metal lid that is in contact with the hot water also begin moving with greater amplitude than at room temperature. These molecules collide with its neighboring molecules and also causing them to move with the same motion. These motions of the molecules in relation with each other in the metal lid result in a greater average separation between the molecules, thus causing the metal lid to expand. Since the molecules in the glass jar do not move with an amplitude as large as the molecules in the metal lid, thus, the glass jar will not expand as much as the metal. The difference in the movement of the amplitude of the molecules in the metal lid and glass jar can also be seen in both the linear and volume coefficient of thermal expansion. Metals like aluminum and copper have a greater coefficient value than glass. Therefore, the metal lid will expand more than the glass jar and causes the glass jar to be loosened.

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  11. i think its an ingenious way to use all the pasta sauce jars my mum insists on keeping just in case we need to keep something in the fridge even though we have plastic container for that 70-685 braindumps! thanks

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  13. I would like to know why the metal lid on a glass candy jar that is neither a screw top nor has any suction apparatus just will fall off all by itself. May seem elementary but my daughter is afraid she has a ghost . Lids are always on the floor

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