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Cold or Warm Gasoline?

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#8916
Fun:*** (2.67)
Difficulty:** (1.43)
Submitted By:electronjohn*us****
Corrected By:cnmne




Fred has a choice of putting a gallon of cold gasoline (say 40 degrees F) or a gallon of warm gasoline (say 80 degrees F) into his car. Which choice will result in the greatest mileage?

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Dec 12, 2002

might he also lose slightly more warm gasoline to evaporation? it would make sense, but i'm assuming it would also be an insignificant amount.
Dec 13, 2002

Dec 16, 2002

I may be wrong so please correct me if I am wrong, but if I filled my car full of cold gasoline, after time this would warm up. Due to warming, the gasoline would expand, and as it wouldnt be able to escape because the petrol tank is sealed, pressure would become too high and the car would eventually explode....?
Dec 16, 2002

Ga Z, what you are saying is correct, if you drive your car into a fire. Normal temperatures will not cause the gas to expand enough to explode a stainless steel (which is what I think they use) gas tank to explode. The tank most likely has some room to expand if the internal pressure were to build up a bit anyway, although it can probably withstand a lot of pressure. Large metal oil barrels often expand when they are left in the hot sun. If you seal an empty oil barrel tight and leave it in the sun you often will hear it make a loud bang noise as the metal sides pop out. When the oil barrel cools the reverse happens and you get another bang. The drum stays sealed even though it makes these sometimes very startling noises.
Dec 16, 2002

Hia again ;) Yes you are probably right. I probably shouldn't have used the term explode in my previous question, it was probably a little bit exaggerated. I wont try and argue anymore points ;) because i cant really work in farenheit... celsius is all i can figure out 32 farenheit = 0 celcius???

I like the teaser anyway :p
Dec 20, 2002

good teaser.
ga_z: an easy way to convert C to F is C=(F-32)/1.8, and F=(Cx1.+32
Dec 20, 2002

Fahrenheit is not very good for scientific work but it is great for everyday normal living stuff. It is set up so that 0 is a very cold winter day, it can get colder but if you hear it is 0 degrees F you can think of it as a super cold day. 100 is a very hot summer day, again it gets hotter but that is about the top of the normal hot scale we get exposed to. 70 is a comfortable room temperature. So you can think of the Fahrenheit scale as a 0 to 100 scale of temperature that we normally experience. I have seen temps as low as -80F with the wind chill factor and as high as 120F. Those are extreme situations that can kill you if you stay there to long. 0 to 100 is therefore a more typical range that you will see. In Celcius that would be about -18 to 38. So to me it is easier to think of outdoor temperatures on the F scale of 0 to 100 than the C scale of -18 to 38. Who sees a beautiful woman and says "On a scale of -18 to 38 I would say she is a 33!"? But like I said before, for me in a lab Celcius and all metric units are much easier to work with.
Dec 20, 2002

Just remember - 28.375 grams of discretion is worth 0.4536 kilograms of learning.

Dec 30, 2002

lol, good one Bobbrt!
Jan 06, 2003

that one was more of a math question than a teaser, but i learned something i didnt know. Good one!
Feb 18, 2003

what if the gasoline was chilled to 0 K?
Feb 19, 2003

It would be a solid and could not be added to your gas tank. Or maybe the electrons in the gas would stop moving and the gas molecules would just collapse into a tiny pile of neutrons, protons and electrons.
Jan 06, 2004

Good teaser, but kind of easy. Normally you present a better challenge.
Jan 06, 2004

Hey ElectronJohn, I'm not saying that what you said is wrong, but up here in northern Minnesota, 0 degrees F isn't cold. This past week, all the temps have been well below -10.
Feb 09, 2005

I got that one! but for the wrong reason... were learning about viscosity in science soo i thought that the cold gasoline would have a higher viscosity and somehow conserve gas...haha... it made more sense when i didnt know the answer!
Mar 26, 2010

@O_Wise_One - I was going to say the same thing, but about North Dakota. Did you know the top 5 coldest cities in the US are all in MN and ND?

0F or above in the winter is something to celebrate.

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