Many pupils are unable to explain maintained thermal equilibrium in terms of a balance between heat input and loss

Energy and Thermal Physics

Misconception RESEARCH REVIEW

Many pupils are unable to explain maintained thermal equilibrium (an object being kept at a fixed temperature higher than its surroundings) in terms of a balance between heat (or energy) input and loss – but use instead simple cause-effect reasoning focusing on the strength of the heater.

Diagnostic Resources

The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.

For more information, see the University of York BEST website.

References

  • Wiser, M. () Use of History of Science to Understand and Remedy Students' Misconceptions About Heat and Temperature, in David N. Perkins, Judah L. Schwartz, Mary Maxwell West, and Martha Stone Wiske (Eds), Software Goes to School: Teaching for Understanding with New Technologies. Oxford University Press, New York.

    Review sheet

IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

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