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Conserving energy in physics and society: Creating an integrated model of energy and the second law of thermodynamics Documents

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Conserving energy in physics and society: Creating an integrated model of energy and the second law of thermodynamics 

written by Abigail R. Daane, Stamatis Vokos, and Rachel E. Scherr

The second law of thermodynamics is typically not a central focus either in introductory university physics textbooks or in national standards for secondary education. However, the second law is a key part of a strong conceptual model of energy, especially for connecting energy conservation to energy degradation and the irreversibility of processes. We present the beginnings of a conceptual model of the second law as it relates to energy, with the aim of creating models and representations that link energy degradation, the second law, and entropy in a meaningful way for learners analyzing real-life energy scenarios. Our goal is to develop tools for use with elementary and secondary teachers and secondary and university students.

Published January 24, 2013
Last Modified June 20, 2013