July 2019 AJP CoverJuly 2019 Issue,

Volume 87, No. 7


Theme Issue on Teaching the Subtle Concept of Energy

The 2018 Gordon Research Conference series on Physics Research and Education focused on Energy, one of the cross-cutting concepts identified in the Next Generation Science Standards:1 “The ability to examine, characterize, and model the transfers and cycles of matter and energy is a tool that students can use across virtually all areas of science and engineering.”2 And yet our understanding of this fundamental concept is far from complete. As Richard Feynman noted in a speech to teachers, “Energy is a very subtle concept. It is very, very difficult to get right.”


Guest Editorial

Introduction to the Energy Theme Issue  DOI: 10.1119/1.5110871


Understanding energy as a subtle concept: A model for teaching and learning energy by Eugene Hecht. DOI: 10.1119/1.5109863

A unified, contemporary approach to teaching energy in introductory physics by Ruth Chabay, Bruce Sherwood, and Aaron Titus. DOI: American Journal of Physics 87, 504 (2019); https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5109519. Open Access

Examining physics teacher understanding of systems and the role it plays in supporting student energy reasoning by Lane Seeley, Stamatis Vokos, and Eugenia Etkina. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110663. Open Access

Energy-interaction diagrams: Fostering resources for productive disciplinary engagement with energy by Benedikt W. Harrer. DOI: 10.1119/1.5097391

Development of an interdisciplinary conceptual conservation of energy theme for use in undergraduate physics, chemistry, and biology courses by Nancy L. Donaldson, Lisa K. Felzien, Michael C. Marvin, Joanna J. Cielocha, and Trace Shapiro. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110710

Applying the resources framework of teaching and learning to issues in middle school physics instruction on energy by Michael C. Wittmann, Laura A. Millay, Carolina Alvarado, Levi Lucy, Joshua Medina, and Adam Rogers. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110285

An example of computer modeling to teach energy conservation concepts by Paulo H. Acioli. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110699

Non-science majors learn about heat, temperature, and thermodynamics using the particulate nature of matter and guided-inquiry instruction by Christopher F. Bauer, and Julia Y. K. Chan. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110500

Making energy relevant: The role of free energy in introductory physics by Benjamin D. Geller, and Abigail R. Daane. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110698

Where does energy go when it's “Gone”? Promoting understanding of energy dissipation by Roger G. Tobin, Sara J. Lacy, Sally Crissman, Nick Haddad, Orlala Wentink, and Lane Seeley. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110707

Going through a phase: Infrared cameras in a teaching sequence on evaporation and condensation by Christopher Robin Samuelsson, Maja Elmgren, Charles Xie, and Jesper Haglund. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110665

Improving student understanding of a system of identical particles with a fixed total energy by Christof Keebaugh, Emily Marshman, and Chandralekha Singh. DOI: 10.1119/1.5109862

Improving student understanding of fine structure corrections to the energy spectrum of the hydrogen atom by Christof Keebaugh, Emily Marshman, and Chandralekha Singh. DOI: 10.1119/1.5110473

Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS by Robert Socolow American Journal of Physics 87, 606 (2019); https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5110249

The Simple Physics of Energy Use by Michael A. DuVernois. DOI: 10.1119/1.5098457


American Journal of Physics 87, 607 (2019); https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5110293

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