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Heat and Thermodynamics

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Energy > Forms, conservation of energy and energy transfer > Heat and Thermodynamics 

Heat is a form of energy. Energy can flow from one body to another (energy in transit) in the form of heat when the two bodies in touch have different temperature. The exchange of heat can change the internal energy of a body or/and be consumed by the absorber as mechanical work. Thermodynamics studies the relationship between heat and other forms of energy. There are four universal laws through which thermodynamics describes the relationship between heat and other forms of energy.

Connection to Big Idea about forces: Thermodynamics is about the conversion of heat to mechanical work through the action of a force. This branch of physics started to develop after the realization that hot vapor is able to produce tremendously high forces. 

Connection to Big Idea about the universe: Heat and radiant energy is produced in the nuclei of stars. It heats up the planets and other objects that orbit the star. The properties of the Universe such as its temperature, pressure, density as well as all these of the celestial objects that are included in it, obey to the four laws of thermodynamics

Connection to Big Idea about particles: Heat can increase the temperature of the objects which in turn increases the motion of particles causing matter to change states. The temperature of the particles can enhance or deplete chemical reactions. Very high temperatures are able to trigger nuclear reactions among particles.

Connection to Big Idea about quantum: For systems characterized by very low temperature or/and very condense matter the laws of thermodynamics are not applicable any more as for these conditions quantum effects are essential. The field of that studies these cases is called quantum thermodynamics.  

Connection to Big Idea about the cell: Cells use various types of energy to perform different functions during which they produce heat. Cells have specific mechanisms to keep their temperature constant by emitting or absorbing heat form/to the environment.

Connection to Big Idea about Earth: The laws of thermodynamics shape the climate of our planet. Excessive amounts of heat produced on Earth can raise the temperature of the planet and have an impact on climate changes.


Subjects related: Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Physics, Biology

Age ranges: 12-13,13-14,14-15,15-16,16-17,17-18

 

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PLATON is a two-year European project launched on September 2016. It aspires to provide teachers and school communities with a coherent teachers’ training framework which will update their current teaching practices. More particularly, PLATON aims to offer an open and innovative training framework to teachers of primary and secondary education which will focus on:

  • Promoting student-centred teaching approaches;
  • Promoting a holistic interdisciplinary approach;
  • Support the use of online educational tools;
  • Support the meaningful collaboration between teachers of the same school.

 

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