Energy Transferred by Working
Energy and Thermal Physics

Describing processes with energy stores

Classroom Activity for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

Here you can relate an everyday description of a simple situation (perhaps a car running down a hill) to how the energy is shared out amongst the stores. Later you can alter the energy shared amongst the stores to see how this affects the position of the car on the hill, so relating the energy description with where the car is and how fast it is going.

What to Prepare

  • a model car on a hill
  • a supply of orange fluid
  • beakers labelled as different stores

Support sheet

What Happens During this Activity

First walk through the process that you have decided to study. Identify the start and finish points as snapshots. With the stores to hand, describe the process both physically and in terms of the filling and emptying of the named stores.

Later, with a more confident class, you might choose to fill the sotres to different levels and ask what the possibilities are for the physical description for that distribution of energy amongst the stores.


Download labels to use with activity.

Energy Transferred by Working
appears in the relation dU=dQ+dW
is used in analyses relating to Working Engines Thermionic Emission
is a special case of Work
has the special case Potential Energy Kinetic Energy
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