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Teaching Thermodynamics and the Nature of Matter
1.I am thinking primarily of the algebra-based course and also of a rigorous high school course in physics.
2.Sheila Tobias, Revitalizing Undergraduate Science (Research Corp., 1992).
3.Keeping the burner in place while heating a beaker of water allows one to argue that the time of heating is proportional to the heat entering the water. Thus heat needed is found to be proportional to the temperature change and to the mass of water. Complications such as heat going into the beaker and heat escaping to the air seem not to have significant effects on the results. To heat another substance, try glycerine, which has a specific heat (0.6) significantly different from unity.
4.By comparing the time to raise the temperature of water a given amount to the time to boil a certain weight (around 50 g) of water, one gets a reasonable value (within 10%) of the latent heat.
5.For present purposes it is convenient to let W stand for the work done by the environment on the system, although many texts use the opposite convention.
6.Thus, one type of first law calculation might be: Suppose a force of 10 N moves a mass of 1 kg through 3 m, as the mass goes from rest up to 6 m/s. Then W = 30 J, (kinetic energy = ½mv2), and so “Friction” is not invoked.
7.See A.B. Arons, A Guide to Introductory Physics Teaching (Wiley, New York, 1990), Chap. 5.
7.Other references: C. M. Penchina, “Pseudowork-energy principle,” Am. J. Phys. 46, 295–296 (March 1978);
7.B. A. Sherwood, “Pseudowork and real work,” Am. J. Phys. 51, 597–602 (July 1983);
7.A. B. Arons, “Development of energy concepts in introductory physics courses,” Am. J. Phys. 67, 1063–1067 (Dec. 1999);
7.R. C. Hilborn, “Let's ban work from physics!” Phys. Teach. 38, 447 (Oct. 2000);
7.Dick C. H. Poon, “Work, energy transfer, and sliding friction,” Phys. Teach. 44, 232–234 (April 2006).
8.The subject is further weakened by the fact that noncalculus students are not easily convinced that work is the area in the P-V plane and in any case cannot find areas for realistic cases.
9.Some textbooks offer a brief discussion of the statistical interpretation of entropy by using models with a few molecules and making the case that the less ordered macrostates are more probable. The value of these treatments seems uncertain. See, for example: Douglas C. Giancoli, Physics, 2nd ed. (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1990), Chap. 12; Raymond A. Serway, Jerry S. Faughn, Chris Vuille, and Charles A. Bennett, College Physics, 7th ed. (Thomson Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA, 2006), Chap. 12.
10.See Appendix 1 online at the FTP site http://ftp.aip.org/cgi-bin/epaps?ID=E-PHTEAH-45-015708.[Supplementary Material]
11.One line of evidence is based on electroplating of ions from solution, together with measurement of the charge on the electron. Another involves the diffusion of gases.
12.See Appendix 2 online at the FTP site http://ftp.aip.org/cgi-bin/epaps?ID=E-PHTEAH-45-015708. For more information on EPAPS, see http://www.aip.org/pubservs/epaps.html.[Supplementary Material]
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