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published by the Concord Consortium Inc.
supported by the National Science Foundation
written by Charles Xie
This free, open source simulation tool, the outgrowth of physics education research, was developed as a means for students to visualize the underlying concepts necessary to approach and solve heat transfer problems. The author's stated goal is "to develop a free interactive computational tool that can run simulations in real time to provide students with a powerful online learning environment for the subject of heat transfer. To achieve this goal, our computational engine must be reasonably speedy and stable." The Energy2D package models only two-dimensional systems, thus is not intended to replicate commercial engineering software used in many university settings. Rather, it was constructed to allow for rapid experimentation through use of dynamic graphics that users can easily manipulate and comprehend.  The sequenced materials include:  heat and temperature, conduction, convection, radiation, Stefan-Boltzman Law, fluid dynamics, boundary conditions, and the heat equation. Registered users may capture, store and share data, and gain access to free authoring tools to customize or create new models.

This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Consortium develops deeply digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering. The models are all freely accessible.

Please note that this resource requires Java Applet Plug-in.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Thermo & Stat Mech
- First Law
= Heat Transfer
= Thermal Equilibrium
- Kinetics and Dynamics
- Second and Third Law
- Thermal Properties of Matter
= Temperature
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
= Model
= Problem/Problem Set
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Professional/Practitioners
- Learners
- application/java
- application/pdf
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Access Rights:
Limited free access
Free registration allows data capture and access to free authoring tools for model creation and customization.
© 2010 Concord Consortium
Fourier, Rayleigh-Benard, average kinetic energy, conduction, conductors, convection simulation, heat transfer simulation, kinetic energy, thermal conductivity, thermal energy, thermal radiation
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created April 29, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 8, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4E. Energy Transformations
  • 9-12: 4E/H2. In any system of atoms or molecules, the statistical odds are that the atoms or molecules will end up with less order than they originally had and that the thermal energy will be spread out more evenly. The amount of order in a system may stay the same or increase, but only if the surrounding environment becomes even less ordered. The total amount of order in the universe always tends to decrease.
  • 9-12: 4E/H3. As energy spreads out, whether by conduction, convection, or radiation, the total amount of energy stays the same. However, since it is spread out, less can be done with it.
  • 9-12: 4E/H7. Thermal energy in a system is associated with the disordered motions of its atoms or molecules. Gravitational energy is associated with the separation of mutually attracting masses. Electrical potential energy is associated with the separation of mutually attracting or repelling charges.
  • 9-12: 4E/H8. In a fluid, regions that have different temperatures have different densities. The action of a gravitational force on regions of different densities causes them to rise or fall, creating currents that contribute to the transfer of energy.
  • 9-12: 4E/H10. If no energy is transferred into or out of a system, the total energy of all the different forms in the system will not change, no matter what gradual or violent changes actually occur within the system.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 9-12: 11B/H2. Computers have greatly improved the power and use of mathematical models by performing computations that are very long, very complicated, or repetitive. Therefore, computers can reveal the consequences of applying complex rules or of changing the rules. The graphic capabilities of computers make them useful in the design and simulated testing of devices and structures and in the simulation of complicated processes.
  • 9-12: 11B/H3. The usefulness of a model can be tested by comparing its predictions to actual observations in the real world. But a close match does not necessarily mean that other models would not work equally well or better.
11C. Constancy and Change
  • 9-12: 11C/H1. If a system in equilibrium is disturbed, it may return to a very similar state of equilibrium, or it may undergo a radical change until the system achieves a new state of equilibrium with very different conditions, or it may fail to achieve any type of equilibrium.
  • 9-12: 11C/H4. Graphs and equations are useful (and often equivalent) ways for depicting and analyzing patterns of change.
  • 9-12: 11C/H7b. The precise future of a system is not completely determined by its present state and circumstances but also depends on the fundamentally uncertain outcomes of events on the atomic scale.
  • 9-12: 11C/H10. Whatever happens within a system, such as parts exploding, decaying, or reorganizing, some features, such as the total amount of matter and energy, remain precisely the same.
  • 9-12: 11C/H12. Even though a system may appear to be unchanging when viewed macroscopically, there is continual activity of the molecules in the system.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
C. Xie, (Concord Consortium Inc., Concord, 2010), WWW Document, (
C. Xie, Concord Consortium: Energy2D - Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone, (Concord Consortium Inc., Concord, 2010), <>.
APA Format
Xie, C. (2010). Concord Consortium: Energy2D - Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone. Retrieved March 24, 2017, from Concord Consortium Inc.:
Chicago Format
Xie, Charles. Concord Consortium: Energy2D - Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone. Concord: Concord Consortium Inc., 2010. (accessed 24 March 2017).
MLA Format
Xie, Charles. Concord Consortium: Energy2D - Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone. Concord: Concord Consortium Inc., 2010. National Science Foundation. 24 Mar. 2017 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Charles Xie", Title = {Concord Consortium: Energy2D - Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone}, Publisher = {Concord Consortium Inc.}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {24 March 2017}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Charles Xie
%T Concord Consortium: Energy2D - Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone
%D 2010
%I Concord Consortium Inc.
%C Concord
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Xie, Charles
%D 2010
%T Concord Consortium: Energy2D - Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone
%I Concord Consortium Inc.
%V 2017
%N 24 March 2017
%9 application/java

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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