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Teaching Undergraduate Thermodynamics with Mathematica

K. Lebiedzinski
H. Bau
Journal / Anthology

AES Vol. 24, Thermodynamics and Energy Systems: Fundamentals, Education, and Computer-Aided Analysis
Year: 1991
Page range: 65-72

Undergraduate Thermodynamics courseware developed within Mathematica is described. The course material is incorporated into notebooks which contain text, functions and graphics in a single medium. The student can browse through the text and the sample problems, resolve the sample problems with different data, investigate how changing parameters affect results, experiment independently, ask "what if" questions, solve problems of his/her choosing and customize the notebook for his/her own needs by adding comments or removing text. In short, availability of a rich selection of symbolic, numerical and graphical tools and programming capabilities makes the thermodynamics notebooks a flexible and powerful tool. Special functions have been developed for the evaluation of thermodynamic property data and for specialized tasks associated with thermodynamics diagrams. These functions are accessible interactively from the notebook and they can be included within other functions or programs. In this presentation, our general philosophy and the mechanics of constructing the thermodynamics notebooks are described.

*Science > Physics > Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics