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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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Student Understanding of the Approach to Thermal Equilibrium
  Location: HC 3023 & 3023A
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 2:05 PM -2:15 PM
  Author: Michael Loverude, California State University Fullerton
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: This paper describes work that is part of an ongoing collaboration to study student learning of thermal physics and develop curricular materials suitable for upper-division courses. The current work describes research on student understanding of the approach to thermal equilibrium. In the hybrid "thermal physics" approach, thermal equilibrium is examined on the macroscopic level but also as a statistical phenomenon. We examine student understanding of these different treatments in the context of two interacting solids, and discuss implications for instruction.
  Footnotes: Supported in part by NSF grant DUE 0817335. Any opinions and findings are the work of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of the National Science Foundation.
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