Energy and Thermal Physics

Energy CPD videos

CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19 IOP RESOURCES

When teaching this topic, it is important to avoid your students conflating the energy analysis with an explanation of what’s going on. Energy is about doing calculations; it is a useful tool for predicting what can happen but shouldn't be used to explain phenomena.

Meet the presenters

(Left to right, IOP Coaches) Alessio Bernardelli, David Richardson, Jess Hamer, Joanna Kent & Trevor Plant.


Energy stores

Jo and Trevor discuss the idea of energy stores and how they can be used when teaching about energy.

Choosing start and end points

Jo and Trevor demonstrate how choosing different start and end points leads to different descriptions of energy shifting, and highlights some of the issues to consider in the choice.


Building energy calculations from the ground up 

Rachel discusses why an energy account is important and shares approaches to help build confidence with calculations.


Introducing energy calculations 

Alessio introduces the main energy calculations. He uses graphs to make links between gravitational potential and kinetic energy equations.

Thermal store 

David focuses on the thermal store and shows effective ways to carry out practicals to calculate the specific heat capacity of different substances, as well as the latent heat of fusion and vaporisation.

Energy calculations in action 

David and Alessio explore the energy stores involved in running and introduce practicals to estimate energy in action.


Introduction to kinetic theory and the gas laws 

Jess covers some key terminology in kinetic theories, discusses Brownian motion and explains why kinetic theory is important in understanding the gas laws.

The gas laws

Joe takes a peek at the fundamental model of gas laws: particles as a model of gases and their behaviour.

Ideal gas law

Joe introduces the Zeroth law and the ideal gas equation, constructed from our independent gas laws.

The kinetic theory equation

Joe combines the macroscopic with our core model to derive an expression for kinetic energy of a molecule in a gas and takes a look at PV graphs.

appears in the relation ΔEΔt>ℏ/2 ΔQ=mcΔθ E=hf E ∝ A^2
has the special case Photon Energy
is used in analyses relating to Emission/Absorption Spectra Phase Change
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