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Energy Magnitudes for Thermal Systems

The Prompt

“How much energy is it necessary to warm up an amount of air or water?”



Wrap Up

Whenever performing a calculation in any physics problem, one should have a general idea of the magnitude of the answer. By the end of this activity, students should have an idea of the energy necessary to heat water or air, particularly in terms of the specific heat. This small whiteboard question is designed to be very general to force students to consider what important factors could change the answer, such as the temperature, volume, or pressure of the sample, and whether any of those parameters are being held constant. FIXME - Additional Info.

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