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They Still Remember What I Never Taught Them: Student Understanding of Entropy Documents

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They Still Remember What I Never Taught Them: Student Understanding of Entropy 

written by Michael E. Loverude

As part of an ongoing project to examine student learning in upper-division courses in thermal and statistical physics, we have examined student reasoning about the approach of macroscopic objects to thermal equilibrium. We have examined reasoning in terms of heat transfer, entropy maximization, and statistical treatments of multiplicity and probability. In the current paper, we present student responses from a set of interviews completed 1-2 years after students had completed the thermal physics course. Students gave a variety of responses, but most students gave answers that did not correspond to the models that they had been taught in the course.

Published January 24, 2013
Last Modified June 27, 2013