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American Journal of Physics
written by Benjamin D. Geller, Benjamin W. Dreyfus, Julia Svoboda Gouvea, Vashti Sawtelle, Chandra Turpen, and Edward F. Redish
Life science students develop a variety of resources for thinking about entropy and spontaneity in their biology, chemistry, and introductory physics courses. Helping students to develop a deeper and more coherent conceptual framework for organizing these varied ideas means attending carefully to the ways in which students interact with different disciplinary descriptions and to the ways in which these descriptions may be in tension. Canonical introductory physics treatments of the second law of thermodynamics, while useful in some contexts, may not be the most productive ones in authentic biological or chemical contexts. We draw on case-study interviews with introductory physics for life science students to argue that an approach to the second law of thermodynamics that emphasizes the interplay of energy and entropy in determining spontaneity (one that involves a central role for free energy) is one that draws on students' resources from biology and chemistry in particularly effective ways. We see the positioning of entropic arguments alongside energetic arguments in the determination of spontaneity as an important step toward making our life science students' biology, chemistry, and physics experiences more coherent.
American Journal of Physics: Volume 82, Issue 5, Pages 394-402
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Pedagogy
= Multidisciplinary
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
= Cognitive Conflict
- Problem Solving
= Frameworks
Other Sciences
- Chemistry
- Life Sciences
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Second and Third Law
= Applications
= Entropy
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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© 2014 American Institute of Physics (AIP)
DOI:
10.1119/1.4870389
NSF Number:
DUE-1122818
Keywords:
IPLS, IPLS case study, Introductory Physics for Life Sciences, Laws of Thermodynamics, molar entropy
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 18, 2023 by Sam McKagan
Record Updated:
June 5, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 25, 2014
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Record Link
AIP Format
B. Geller, B. Dreyfus, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E. Redish, , Am. J. Phys. 82 (5), 394 (2014), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4870389).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Geller, B. Dreyfus, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E. Redish, Entropy and spontaneity in an introductory physics course for life science students, Am. J. Phys. 82 (5), 394 (2014), <https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4870389>.
APA Format
Geller, B., Dreyfus, B., Gouvea, J., Sawtelle, V., Turpen, C., & Redish, E. (2014, April 25). Entropy and spontaneity in an introductory physics course for life science students. Am. J. Phys., 82(5), 394-402. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4870389
Chicago Format
Geller, B, B. Dreyfus, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E. Redish. "Entropy and spontaneity in an introductory physics course for life science students." Am. J. Phys. 82, no. 5, (April 25, 2014): 394-402, https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4870389 (accessed 27 May 2024).
MLA Format
Geller, Benjamin, Benjamin Dreyfus, Julia Svoboda Gouvea, Vashti Sawtelle, Chandra Turpen, and Edward F. Redish. "Entropy and spontaneity in an introductory physics course for life science students." Am. J. Phys. 82.5 (2014): 394-402. 27 May 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4870389>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Benjamin Geller and Benjamin Dreyfus and Julia Svoboda Gouvea and Vashti Sawtelle and Chandra Turpen and Edward F. Redish", Title = {Entropy and spontaneity in an introductory physics course for life science students}, Journal = {Am. J. Phys.}, Volume = {82}, Number = {5}, Pages = {394-402}, Month = {April}, Year = {2014} }
Refer Export Format

%A Benjamin Geller %A Benjamin Dreyfus %A Julia Svoboda Gouvea %A Vashti Sawtelle %A Chandra Turpen %A Edward F. Redish %T Entropy and spontaneity in an introductory physics course for life science students %J Am. J. Phys. %V 82 %N 5 %D April 25, 2014 %P 394-402 %U https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4870389 %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Geller, Benjamin %A Dreyfus, Benjamin %A Gouvea, Julia Svoboda %A Sawtelle, Vashti %A Turpen, Chandra %A Redish, Edward F. %D April 25, 2014 %T Entropy and spontaneity in an introductory physics course for life science students %J Am. J. Phys. %V 82 %N 5 %P 394-402 %8 April 25, 2014 %U https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4870389


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