ERIC Number: EJ1090054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
A Computer Simulation Using Spreadsheets for Learning Concept of Steady-State Equilibrium
Sharda, Vandana; Sastri, O. S. K. S.; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Jha, Arbind K.
Physics Education, v51 n2 Article 025007 Mar 2016
In this paper, we present a simple spreadsheet based simulation activity that can be performed by students at the undergraduate level. This simulation is implemented in free open source software (FOSS) LibreOffice Calc, which is available for both Windows and Linux platform. This activity aims at building the probability distribution for the possible macro-states of a system. This has been achieved by randomly sampling the configuration space consisting of all the possible microstates and determining the corresponding macrostate for each of the samples, which is akin to Monte-Carlo simulation. This simulation could act as a very useful tool in engaging students for learning the concepts of microstates, macrostates and steady state equilibrium, once the ideas have been introduced in the classroom. Further, the effect of the number of particles on the quality of steady state equilibrium achieved demonstrates the idea of thermodynamic limit.
Descriptors: Computer Simulation, Spreadsheets, Concept Teaching, Scientific Concepts, Undergraduate Students, Science Activities, Open Source Technology, Thermodynamics, Teaching Methods, Monte Carlo Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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