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ERIC Number: EJ876122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
A Simple Statistical Thermodynamics Experiment
LoPresto, Michael C.
Physics Teacher, v48 n3 p183-185 Mar 2010
Comparing the predicted and actual rolls of combinations of both two and three dice can help to introduce many of the basic concepts of statistical thermodynamics, including multiplicity, probability, microstates, and macrostates, and demonstrate that entropy is indeed a measure of randomness, that disordered states (those of higher entropy) are more likely than more ordered ones. It can also show that predictions based on statistics are more accurate with larger samples of data. What follows is a simple experiment introducing some of the basic elements of statistical thermodynamics that can be a light and even fun way to end a unit on thermodynamics, often the end of a challenging first semester of introductory physics.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A