Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lecture on phase boundaries

Here is tomorrow's lecture for PHYS2020: Thermodynamics and Condensed Matter Physics. I am finding it a challenge to come up with good questions for clickers. Any suggestions welcome.


  1. if you use clickers the same way i do, then you want them to be 'supereasy' because they are done on the fly. so one i might ask is to show two free energies a la landau as a function of temperature, and pick out the one which has a first order transition, i.e. touches down with a finite order parameter.

    another one is to show experimental data with a latent heat of some variety vs. one which is not 1st order.

    maybe that helps. i didnt look through the slides before commenting in case you already did that.

  2. I find clickers to be effectively used in two ways. Firstly is like greg said, it's a great wake-up thing, just to check to see if the students are paying attention at all, but the second method is the more important one in my opinion which involves getting the students to argue amongst themselves about why their answer is correct. For the trickier problems this produces critical thinking in the students as they're "forced" to reason through their answer and explain it to another person rather than going "well that's what I THINK the answer is..."

  3. Thanks for the helpful suggestions.