Teaching Resources for Thermal Physics

Author : Pal Fekete
B.Sc., Ph.D., Dip.Ed.

Although I spell my name Pal it is pronounced Paul.
For more information about me look at my web page.

Co-Authors : Brian McInnes, Paul Walker


For three days per week during 1995 I was employed to develop a collection of resources such as demonstrations, questions, videos and so on that could be used when teaching Thermal Physics. The result of this work appears on the following web pages and contains material suitable for use in lectures, tutorials and other teaching environments. This resource has been made possible by a CAUT (Committee for the Advancement of University Teaching) grant through the University of Sydney.

The kit has been produced within the School of Physics as part of our Physics Education Research. For more information on Physics education Research at the University of Sydney look up the (SUPER) (Sydney University Physics Education Research) group.

The work on Thermal Physics has involved the production of a KIT of resources for use by lecturers. The kit includes information about demonstrations and interactive questions (thought experiments) such as Predict Observe Explain (POE) questions.

The authors welcome and encourage feedback concerning the information presented. If you have anything to add you can email me by clicking on the email address below.

There are a number of ways to explore the reesources on the following web pages. The different options available are to ensure that the collection of resources are as versatile to the user as possible. Two indexes are presented below. The first index is for access of the actual resources, the second index convers some of the research and findings of the work that preceeded and went in to the production of these resources.

Teaching Resources

A Keyword Search may be used to explore the resources by selecting a number of chosen keywords or phrases relevant to thermal physics. For example you may look up all deomnstrations, questions, etc to do with heat or perhaps Stirling engines.

A Concept Map provides a similar function to the Index Search however it lets the user visualise the links between different concepts in the subject. The user needs to be reiminded that concept maps are usually most useful to the person who writes them. The concept map is still being developed at the moment.

Demonstrations may be explored directly. You will need to know the type of demonstration you are looking for to use this facility. It is also worthwhile to browse through the demonstrations just to see what types of experiments are available. Some suggestions for demonstrations that do not exist in the School of Physics at Sydney University are included for completeness in the file Other suggestions for demonstrations.

Questions are provided for use in lectures, tutorials or even assessment purposes. These questions are different from the normal questions found in text books as they are more qualitative and seek to develop a greater understanding in the students of the concept addressed.

CD demonstrations from a colection called "The Video Encyclopedia of Physics Demosntrations" are included. These serve as a useful resource if your department does not possess the demonstration if the demonstration is difficult to perform.

Videos and Films may also be examined.

Commercial Software titles are presented for your reference.



Thermal Physics lectures on the web developed by Tony Fischer-Cripps from the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Technology, Sydney
Reading books are referenced relevant to teaching or education research in thermal Physics.
A Submission form is included to encourage people to submit their own suggestions for demonstrations. Pictures should be submitted as either gif (preferably) or jpeg files. The files should be smaller than 100k to ensure fast transfer for others using this kit. At present could you mail these to me separately if you have any. Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated by myself and other users in the future.
Please email any suggestions, corrections, comments to these files as you look at them. An email link is included at the end of every page to help you.

How to Contact me
[hit counter] people have visited this page since 25th April, 1998.
This web page last updated by Pal Fekete on 13th June 1998.

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Copyright © 1996 School of Physics
The University of Sydney