Online reading assignment: temperature

Physics 205A, fall semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

The following questions were asked on reading textbook chapters and previewing presentations on temperature.

Selected/edited responses are given below.

Describe something you found interesting from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally interesting for you.
"That there are still gas stations that don't compensate for temperature. And it is better to purchase gasoline at night or while it's cold than while it's hot!"

"The buckling of the railroad tracks on very hot days because I have never seen train tracks do that, and that would be very dangerous if not examined."
Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"The thermal expansion formula--I guess the change in measurement divided by the original measurement is equal to the change in temperature modified by a constant?" (Yes.)

"I don't get why thermal expansion coefficients are different for different materials."

"Since gasoline holding tanks are housed underground, wouldn't that be a somewhat constant temperature? So therefore the outside temperature has less effect on volume than we think?"

"For once, I didn't really find anything confusing in this reading. Just interesting. I'm going to enjoy this section."

"I would benefit from a more detailed explanation of thermal expansion. I don't know where to begin."
Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"I would like to take another physics class because I found it interesting (better than dealing with tons of numbers in math) and also because I really want to get it right so I understand the world better." (Then you have a problem...with the universe!)

"Why are we rushing through this textbook? It seems like everyday we learn something new and don't review what we just learned enough." (There are more chapters in the textbook than there are weeks of instruction in this two-semester sequence! However, we are being very selective in the concepts covered in this course, and concentrating on benign able to explain the important principles along with quantitatively describing the phenomena.)

"You know when you're sitting at the left-turn lane into Cuesta College waiting and a big truck passes you and your car shakes? What is that? Just the air being moved out of the way?" (Exactly--the air dragged by a massively unaerodynamic truck.)

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