Education Technology

The Science of Racing: No Free Lunch; How much energy from AA batteries translates into real work?

Published on 07/13/2006

Activity Overview

Work output from any process comes at a price. That price is the energy input required to drive the process. A fact of reality (also called the Second Law of Thermodynamics) is that the input energy is always greater than the output work. In this activity, you'll determine how much work is really obtained from the batteries in a radio controlled race car?

Before the Activity

Use these assessment questions before and after the activity.

During the Activity

All instructions required for the activity are included in the attached document. Though the instructions are step-by-step for the TI-73, you can adapt them to any other calculator such as the TI-84.

After the Activity

Use some of the pre-assessment questions as post-assessment for this activity.