Many students make incorrect quantitative predictions about the temperature of a mixture of two samples of liquid at different initial temperatures, even when they can make correct qualitative predictions

Energy and Thermal Physics


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.

Resources to Address This

  • Mixing hot and cold water (11-16)

    Ref - Practical Physics; Energy: Energy stored thermally; Mixing hot and cold water


    Mixing two masses of water at different temperatures to discuss energy transfer.

    When the waters are mixed the temperature ends up somewhere between the two initial temperatures. You might ask: "Has anything stayed the same during the mixing?"

    View Resource


  • Pathare, S.; Huli, S.; Nachane, M.; Ladage, S. and Pradhan, H. () Understanding thermal equilibrium through activities, Physics Education, 50 (2)


    Review sheet

  • Paik, S.H., Cho, B.K., Go Y.M. () Korean 4- to 11-Year-Old Student Conceptions of Heat and Temperature. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44, (2) published online in Wiley Interscience (,


    Review sheet

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