Online reading assignment: internal energy

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 internal energy.

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.
"How heat and work are energy transfers and not a type of energy that one object may possess. Heat and work can only be transfers."

"Heat isn't just how hot something is."

"In older times heat was thought to be a liquid."

"Who everyone thinks is the hottest Lord of the Rings character. That should have been a question."

"A change in the internal energy of a system does not always cause a temperature change. the internal energy of a system can change while the temperature remains constant like ice melting. I would have assumed that internal energy would always change temperature."

"I remember a lot of this from chemistry. :)"

"How we aren't going to go into detail about thermodynamics from a chemistry or engineering point of view. I have a very good understanding of thermodynamics in chemistry, so I am interested to learn about thermodynamics from a physics point of view."
Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"Perhaps you could talk a little about thermal equilibrium."

"This whole chapter seems like it will be confusing."

"'Specific' heat capacity and heat capacity, and what the difference is."

"I'm hoping that this will get easier this time around. I struggled a little with heat/energy in chemistry."
Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"Isn't the specific heat of water annoying, especially when your trying to make a cup of tea or trying not to freeze to death when your soaked in a snowstorm?" (To quote Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "How can you expect a man who is warm to understand one who is cold?")

"How many more chapters are we going to cover by the end of this semester?" (This chapter--Chapter 14--is the last for this semester.)

"I wish there would be more extra credit. I wish to improve my grade. Therefore, I will try my best again in finals." (I can only grant you one of those wishes. The rest is up to you.)

"Do you have an advice for us so it is easier to remember how and when to use the heat or how it flows?" (It's not too hard, but let's see how you do on the flashcard questions in class.)

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