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Re: heat is not a noun

At the risk of being repetitious (doesn't bother Jim), many of us teach the
thousands of students who will never progress beyond a Hewitt or Kirkpatrick
level course. Those students already have 'heat', 'work', and 'energy' in
their noun-vocabulary. It will do little good to approach such students
with graduate level models. The commonly taught intro descriptions _are_
accessible to these students and provide them with 'workable' models of
nature that are closer to modern understandings than their intuitions. If
someone wants to write an introductory text, designed for a terminal course
in Physics, that remains true to the most sophisticated current
understandings of the subject, please do. Then we'll see whether that
approach attracts or repels students.


Richard W. Tarara
Associate Professor of Physics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556

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----- Original Message -----
From: "John Barrer" <forcejb@YAHOO.COM>

I agree with Larry. Furthermore, I'd add that "work"
should not be used as a noun, but rather as "workING"
- a macroscopic process by which the internal energy
of a system changes due to the action of an external
force. I think that focusing on system internal energy
and the processes by which it can be changed makes
teaching and understanding thermodynamic processes
VASTLY easier and clearer for students. John Barrere