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[Fhsst-physics] Comments on Temperature draft

From: Mark Horner
Subject: [Fhsst-physics] Comments on Temperature draft
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 22:47:34 -0700
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Hi Andy (and everyone)

I read your section draft this evening. I like the style and the examples - and I didn't know about Rankine's scale so I learnt something too! I knew this project was a good idea :)

For reference its up at: http://www-pdsf.nersc.gov/~markh/Andy.pdf

I do have some comments and suggestions - please if anyone disagrees with me just shout - here goes:

I think its great to head off the misconceptions early so I like the fact that you point out things like:
 - "Cold is not a physical thing"
 - reminding them of the basic premise for the discussion
 - also emphasising conclusions and rules

If any of my suggestions contradict any of the above ignore them.

* I like ot try to have short, simple and correct definitions stand out e.g. in a definition block - we could put the definition of temperature in one.

* Not sure about this but somewhere we should just explain when and why we use the word "thermal" - might have been used earlier in the book - I'll check on this

* I would add one sentence to your ice cube in the boiling water example , you are dealing with the case where one body has a fixed temperature and I am sure the significance of the word fixed is going to be lost on many kids. To further emphasise it I would add a sentence saying something like: "The water temperature is fixed i.e. does not change, because the fire keeps it constant"

* I thought that the when explaining cold might consider the example of a someone holding ice in their hand - its a very intuitive example of what happens to the heat.

* When you make the statement "When two bodies are at the same temperature we say that they are in thermal equilibrium." I would add another sentence to remind them of teh definition of temperature and point out the implications that if the temperatures are the same then the average kinetic energy is too. I think it helps to emphasise things.

* I like the explanation of why a negative temperature is a ridiculous idea.

* Its also good that you refer to the problem from Gerald's section - helps reinforce ideas and tie things together.

One general suggestion - text scares the target audience - can we add some simple pics (I guess you started playing with pstricks) to just explicitly point out the heat flow directions etc.

Thats it - I'm done.

Tell me what you think and if you disagree.

On the whole we've started making progress on that chapter finally - for 2 years nothing at all was added and now its probably over 50% done!



Mark Horner wrote:
Hi all

Andy sent in his first draft of the temperature section for the Heat and Properties of Matter chapter. I put it up on the web and if anyone has time to have a look any comments and suggestions are appreciated - its up at:


I had a quick look and I like where its going and the style. I'll send more detailed comments through tomorrow (+/- 24 hours).



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