Student difficulties with concepts related to entropy, heat engines and the Carnot cycle Documents

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Addressing Student Difficulties with Concepts Related to Entropy, Heat Engines and the Carnot Cycle 

written by Trevor I. Smith, Warren M. Christensen, and John R. Thompson

We report the rationale behind and preliminary results from a guided-inquiry conceptual worksheet (a.k.a. tutorial) dealing with Carnot's efficiency and the Carnot cycle. The tutorial was administered in an upper-level thermodynamics course at the University of Maine. The tutorial was implemented as the third in a three-tutorial sequence designed to improve students' understanding of entropy and its applications. Initial pre- and post-tutorial assessment data suggest that student understanding of heat engines and the Carnot cycle improved as a result of tutorial instruction.

Published November 11, 2009
Last Modified October 13, 2009

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