Conference Proceedings Detail Page

written by Brandon Bucy, John R. Thompson, and Donald B. Mountcastle
Students in upper-level undergraduate thermodynamics courses were asked about the relationship between the complementary partial derivatives of the isothermal compressibility and the thermal expansivity of a substance. Both these material properties can be expressed with first partial derivatives of the system volume. Several of the responses implied difficulty with the notion of variables held fixed in a partial derivative. Specifically, when asked to find the partial derivative of one of these quantities with respect to a variable that was initially held fixed, a common response was that this (mixed second) partial derivative must be zero. We have previously reported other related difficulties in the context of the Maxwell relations, indicating persistent confusion applying partial differentiation to state functions. We present results from student homework and examination questions and briefly discuss an instructional strategy to address these issues.
Physics Education Research Conference 2006
Part of the PER Conference series
Syracuse, New York: July 26-27, 2006
Volume 883, Pages 157-160
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General Physics
- Physics Education Research
Mathematical Tools
- Differential Equations
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Thermal Properties of Matter
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
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Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2508716
Access Rights:
Available for purchase
Restriction:
© 2006 American Institute of Physics
DOI:
10.1063/1.2508716
NSF Number:
0406764
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.Ha
05.70.Ce
Keywords:
PERC 2006, instructional strategy, partial derivatives, partial differential equations, student difficulties, thermal expansion, thermodynamic properties
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 4, 2007 by Shawn Weatherford
Record Updated:
July 16, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 30, 2007
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AIP Format
B. Bucy, J. Thompson, and D. Mountcastle, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2006, Syracuse, New York, 2006, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=5262&DocID=2101).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Bucy, J. Thompson, and D. Mountcastle, Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2006, Syracuse, New York, 2006, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=5262&DocID=2101>.
APA Format
Bucy, B., Thompson, J., & Mountcastle, D. (2006, July 26-27). Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2006, Syracuse, New York. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=5262&DocID=2101
Chicago Format
Bucy, B, J. Thompson, and D. Mountcastle. "Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2006, Syracuse, New York, July 26-27, 2006. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=5262&DocID=2101 (accessed 26 October 2014).
MLA Format
Bucy, Brandon, John Thompson, and Donald Mountcastle. "Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties." Physics Education Research Conference 2006. Syracuse, New York: 2006. 157-160 Vol. 883 of PER Conference. 26 Oct. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=5262&DocID=2101>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Brandon Bucy and John Thompson and Donald Mountcastle", Title = {Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2006}, Pages = {157-160}, Address = {Syracuse, New York}, Series = {PER Conference}, Volume = {883}, Month = {July 26-27}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%A Brandon Bucy
%A John Thompson
%A Donald Mountcastle
%T Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties
%S PER Conference
%V 883
%D July 26-27 2006
%P 157-160
%C Syracuse, New York
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=5262&DocID=2101
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2006
%O July 26-27
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Bucy, Brandon
%A Thompson, John
%A Mountcastle, Donald
%D July 26-27 2006
%T Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2006
%C Syracuse, New York
%V 883
%P 157-160
%S PER Conference
%8 July 26-27
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=5262&DocID=2101


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