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Free expansion quiz

Keywords: Energy and Entropy, Entropy, Small Group Activity


Highlights of the activity

  1. This whole class activity is designed to help students understand irreversible processes, entropy, and the Second Law.
  2. Students take a short quiz asking qualitative questions about the change of entropy under isothermal, adiabatic, and free expansion.
  3. The wrap-up discussion addresses student expectations that entropy must “come from somewhere,” and reinforces student understanding of the Second Law with regard to irreversible processes.

Reasons to spend class time on the activity

Students often don't understand what entropy is and how it behaves. This quiz tends to highlight some of these areas of confusion, and leads to an interesting discussion of what entropy is and how it behaves.


Instructor's Guide

Student Handouts



Authors: David Roundy
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