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Energy Magnitudes for Thermal Processes (SWBQ)

Keywords: Energy, Thermodynamics, Heat Capacity, SWBQ


Highlights of the activity

  1. SWBQ: How much energy is necessary to warm up some air or water (you choose the amount)?

Reasons to spend class time on the activity

Whenever performing a calculation in any physics problem, one should have a general idea of the magnitude of the answer. By the end of this activity, students should have an idea of the energy necessary to heat water or air, particularly in terms of the specific heat. This small whiteboard question is designed to be very general to force students to consider what important factors could change the answer, such as the temperature, volume, or pressure of the sample, and whether any of those parameters are being held constant.


Instructor's Guide

Authors: Ethan Minot, Janet Tate, Teal Pershing
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