Day 18: A striking demo of thermal energy

I’m working on a longer blog post summarizing a lab we’ve done to expand the idea of energy conservation and to find “energy losses” in thermal energy, but in the meantime, I wanted to show this great demo on Friday that clearly shows how kinetic energy can be converted to
thermal energy. The demo is the smashing steel sphere demo kit.

We use this as the final bit of evidence to convince students that the “missing” energy we are seeing in collisions really is thermal energy that’s being generated by the random motion of the atoms the substance.

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About John Burk

The ramblings of a physics teacher.
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