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"The Karlsruhe Physics Course" icon

The Karlsruhe Physics Course

'This high school/intro college curriculum is a series of three short textbooks (and a teacher's guide) for introducing thermodynamics in an intuitive and visual way. By drawing on analogies between thermal, fluid, electrical, mechanical, and chemical systems, and tying them together using energy and entropy, the Karlsruhe Physics Course helps students build a useful model for picturing the basics of physics and chemistry. It was developed in Germany over the course of 30 years, and has been translated into multiple languages, including English.' 'The Karlsruhe Physics Course is an attempt to modernize the physics syllabus by eliminating obsolete concepts, restructuring the contents and extensively applying a new model, the substance model. The course has been used, tested and improved for... Show More


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Eduardo Laschuk
Eduardo Laschuk (Faculty)
3 years ago

This is great material. Innovative formulation. Highlight: entropy becomes easy and makes a lot of sense even to beginners, valuable insights are provided to the concepts of temperature and heat.

Used in course? Yes
Time spent reviewing site: several hours
Frank Lambert
Frank Lambert (Faculty)
7 years ago
There should be a "no star" category for this inexcusable treatment of entropy. The section on entropy is the most incredible mess of garbage, misinformation, and error that I have ever seen in 70 years! I can't imagine that such antique/obsolete/unscientific trash would be used in the US -- or cited in Merlot. The ONLY modern treatment of entropy is that which is written by Stephen Lower -- and cited here.

Technical Remarks:

NO chemistry text in the US has ANY such trash -- "entropy as a quantity of heat"!! "entropy flows...."!!! "Entropy is measured in Ct, Carnots"!!!!
Time spent reviewing site: 15 astonished minutes...
Joel Rosenberg
Joel Rosenberg (Museum Educator)
9 years ago
This is one of the best approaches to introductory thermodynamics I've seen. The picturesque view of energy and entropy, and the analogical treatment of intensive quantities (temperature, pressure, velocity, electric potential, chemical potential) driving extensive flows (entropy, volume, momentum, charge, amount of substance) sets up a model that is very useful for beginners. Highly recommended.
Used in course? Yes