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Abstract Title: Learner Resources for Thinking about Free Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Abstract: Free energy is an important bridge between (i) canonical representations of thermodynamics that are found in typical introductory physics classrooms and (ii) descriptions of the second law of thermodynamics frequently encountered in biological and sociopolitical contexts. In this poster, we explore resources that two groups of learners have for reasoning about free energy and the second law of thermodynamics: Introductory Physics for Life Science (IPLS) undergraduate students and K-12 teachers in a professional development workshop. We also address some of the challenges that learners face in trying to reconcile the essential features of free energy with what they have learned about thermodynamics in introductory physics.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Parallel Session: Identifying Conceptual Resources for Understanding Physics
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster II

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Benjamin Geller
Swarthmore College
and Co-Presenter(s)
Abigail Daane, South Seattle Community College