Students generate a list of properties a glass of water might have. The class then discusses and categorizes those properties.
We will be spending this course studying thermodynamics, which is the branch of physics that deals with the physical properties of matter and the laws that govern the properties of matter. Today we will be discussing what kinds of properties matter can have.I am using this activity as the very first content in Energy and Entropy. See Naming and Classifying Thermodynamic Variables for a list of earlier versions of this prompt. The idea is to familiarize students with what sorts of properties are considered in thermodynamics.
The key to this particular activity is that we then discuss which are intensive and which are extensive without yet defining those terms. The idea is that by drinking half of the glass of water we make concrete the "doubling the size" that is often discussed when talking about intensive and extensive properties. This also guides us to the set of properties that are used in bulk thermodynamics, since those properties are either intensive or extensive.
I'd like you all to start by pouring yourself a cup of water. I'll give you a moment to go to your kitchens. Then in your small groups I'd like you to brainstorm a list of all the properties that cup of water might have. Please limit yourselves to properties of the water itself , omitting any properties of the cup or the room around you.
assignment Homework
biotech Experiment
60 min.
heat entropy water ice thermodynamics
In this remote-friendly activity, students use a microwave oven (and optionally a thermometer) to measure the latent heat of melting for water (and optionally the heat capacity). From these they compute changes in entropy. See also Ice Calorimetry Lab.groups Whole Class Activity
10 min.
There are two versions of this activity:
As a whole class activity, the instructor cuts a pumpkin in order to produce a small volume element \(d\tau\), interspersing their work with a sequence of small whiteboard questions. This version of the activity is described here.
As a small group activity, students are given pineapple rounds and pumpkin wedges to explore area volume elements in cylindrical and spherical coordinate systems. In this version of the activity, the fruit is distribued to the students with appropriate children's pumpkin cutting equipment, as part of activities Vector Differential--Curvilinear, Scalar Surface and Volume Elements, or Vector Surface and Volume Elements.
grading Quiz
60 min.
face Lecture
30 min.
latent heat heat capacity internal energy entropy
This short lecture introduces the ideas required for Ice Calorimetry Lab or Microwave oven Ice Calorimetry Lab.face Lecture
30 min.
face Lecture
120 min.
Gibbs entropy information theory probability statistical mechanics
These lecture notes for the first week of Thermal and Statistical Physics include a couple of small group activities in which students work with the Gibbs formulation of the entropy.face Lecture
120 min.
chemical potential Gibbs distribution grand canonical ensemble statistical mechanics
These notes from the fifth week of Thermal and Statistical Physics cover the grand canonical ensemble. They include several small group activities.assignment Homework
group Small Group Activity
30 min.