Many students think that objects of different materials in the same room will have different temperatures

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

  • There is one references that specifically uses this misconception as an introduction.

    Establish that all objects in a closed environment (eg a room with no internal or external warming) will establish the same temperature.  Some objects may feel cooler, because they conduct the heat away from our hands.  This is another example of why 'touch' is not a reliable measure of temperature.

  • Conduction, convection and radiation  (11- 16)

    Ref - Practical Physics; Energy; Thermal Transfers; Conduction, convection and radiation

    The section on conduction uses the idea of different materials feeling cooler in a room, as an introduction.

    View Resource


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


    Review sheet

  • Thomas, M. F.; Malaquias, I. M.; Valente, M. C. and Antunes, M. J. () An attempt to overcome alternative conceptions related to heat and temperature. Physics Education, 30, (1)


    Review sheet

  • 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

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