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RealTime Physics Active Learning Laboratories, Module 2: Heat and Thermodynamics, 3rd Edition

RealTime Physics Active Learning Laboratories, Module 2: Heat and Thermodynamics, 3rd Edition

David R. Sokoloff, Priscilla W. Laws, Ronald K. Thornton

ISBN: 978-1-118-42460-5 July 2012 144 Pages




The authors of RealTime Physics - David Sokoloff, Priscilla Laws, and Ron Thornton - have been pioneers in the revolution of the physics industry. In this edition, they provide a set of labs that utilize modern lab technology to provide hands-on information, as well as an empirical look at several new key concepts. They focus on the teaching/learning issues in the lecture portion of the course, as well as logistical lab issues such as space, class size, staffing, and equipment maintenance. Issues similar to those in the lecture have to with preparation and willingness to study.  

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Lab 1: Introduction to Heat and Temperature /1

Lab 2: Energy Transfer and Temperature Change /23

Lab 3: Heat Energy Transfer /43

Lab 4: The First Law of Thermodynamics /63

Lab 5: The Ideal Gas Law /83

Lab 6: Heat Engines /99

Appendix A: RealTime Physics Heat and Thermodynamics Experiment Configuration Files /123

• Completely revised throughout
• New labs: 1 replacement lab in Module 1; 50% new labs in Module 3
• All of these labs are available for customization via Wiley Custom Select. For more information on how you can tailor these experiments to fit your lab, visit
• Development of these modules has been guided by the outcomes of physics education research. Published research has documented significant learning gains through the use of Sokoloff-style labs.
• Each module contains weekly laboratory sessions that are sequenced to provide students with a coherent observational basis for understanding a single topic area in one semester or quarter of laboratory sessions.
• Each lab (approx. 2 hours each) encourages students to construct their own models of physical phenomena based on observations and experiments. Extensions have been developed to provide more in-depth coverage when longer lab periods are available.
• Each set of related activities employs a consistent learning cycle: prediction, observation, comparison, analysis, and quantitative experimentation.
• Each lab includes a pre-lab warm-up assignment, and a post-lab homework assignment that reinforces critical physics concepts and investigative skills.
• Lab activities and homework assignments are integrated so that they depend on learning that has occurred during the previous lab session and also prepare students for activities in the next session.