Comparing Thermodynamic Properties (SWBQs)
- This whole class activity is designed to help upper-division undergraduate students understand the thermodynamic concepts of temperature, energy, heat, and entropy.
- Students answer, using small white boards, questions about these quantities and what kinds of things they are.
- The whole class discussion addresses properties of these quantities and common misconceptions.
One of the greatest challenges for students in thermodynamics is keeping track of all of the subject's terminology. This activity is designed to help find how clear students are on the differences in temperature, energy, and heat, and the activity also helps clarify some of the confusions and misconceptions amongst the thermodynamic terms. This activity also offers an opportunity to refresh students on what entropy is, a term that many students have not seen for several years.