James Joule’s Bicentenary: Scientific and Pedagogical Issues concerning Energy Conservation


Paulo Maurício, Lisbon Politechnical Institute
Ricardo Lopes Coelho, Lisbon University


James Joule’s bicentenary will be commemorated in 2018. His famous paddle wheel experiment with which he calculates the mechanical equivalent of heat is presented in every physics textbooks as a decisive if not crucial experiment in surpassing the caloric framework. The experiment is offered in the mentioned textbooks in a too much simplified form; in fact, he could not had performed it as he reported as recent replication of his experiment established.
This symposium, organized under the Inter-Divisional Teaching Commission (IDTC) of the DHST/DLMPST umbrella has a threefold aim:
1) celebrate James Joule achievement considering the most recent historiographic work
2) discuss the scientific and pedagogical issues related to heat, energy and work and how are they presented in textbooks and worked out in classroom
3) discuss the present situation of teaching and learning science through the use of history of science both in K-12 and college level with an emphasis on energy and related concepts.

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Deadline for paper submission

Decembre 4, 2017