Temperature and Internal Energy

Students observe changes in molecular speed when they control the absolute temperature of a gas sample. In a follow-on simulation, students observe changes in molecular speed when they control the molecular mass of the gas sample. This simple little simulation effectively explores the relationship between absolute temperature and kinetic energy (and therefore internal energy) of gas molecules. By controlling the temperature of a gas sample, the student can see that the higher the temperature, the faster the molecules are moving. Importantly, the observed changes are clearly not linear, which underscores that kinetic energy, and not speed, is directly related to absolute temperature, and kinetic energy is proportional to the square of the speed. A second simulation is provided in which the temperature is held constant, and the student controls the mass of the gas atoms. An inverse relationship between molecular speed and molecular mass is observed, which enables the student to see that for a constant temperature (constant kinetic or internal energy), increasing the mass will decrease the speed.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of...
CLE 3001.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
CLE 3001.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3001.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
CLE 3001.4.4
Write an extended research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
CLE 3001.4.5
Use a standard format to arrange text, to cite sources correctly, and to document quotations, paraphrases, and other information.
CLE 3002.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
CLE 3002.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3002.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
CLE 3002.4.4
Write an extended research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
CLE 3002.4.5
Use a standard format to arrange text, to cite sources correctly, and to document quotations, paraphrases, and other information.
CLE 3231.2.1
Develop an understanding of temperature, heat, and internal energy.
SPI 3001.4.4
Evaluate the validity of Web pages as sources of information.
SPI 3001.4.6
Identify information that must be cited or attributed within a writing sample.
SPI 3002.4.4
Evaluate the validity of Web pages as sources of information.
SPI 3002.4.6
Identify information that must be cited or attributed within a writing sample.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.KID.2
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development; provide an objective or critical summary.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.KID.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development; provide an objective or critical summary.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.7
Conduct and write short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem by...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.8
Use multiple search terms to generate a variety of print and digital sources; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of...
 
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Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding

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References

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