Many students see energy as an ‘intangible fluid’ that flows from one place or object to another during a process

Energy and Thermal Physics


Resources to Address This

  • Storing energy and transferring energy  (11-16)

    Ref - Practical physics; Energy; Examples of energy going from one thing to another;
    Storing energy and transferring energy

    Using an orange liquid is a way of modelling energy transfer and the emptying/filling of energy stores.

    One way to avoid this misconception is to relate to 'real' examples, such as those covered in this resource.  The orange liquid then 'models' what is happening to the energy. Go through the three stages - what is observed; physics explanation; energy explanation.

    View Resource


  • Harrison, A. G, Grayson, D. J. and Treagus, D. F. () Investigating a grade 11 student's evolving conceptions of heat and temperature. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36, (1)


    Review sheet

  • Trumper, R. () A Longitudinal Study of Physics Students' Conceptions on Energy in Pre-Service Training for High School Teachers. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 7, (4)


    Review sheet

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