Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone

Heat transfer is widely taught in secondary Earth science and physics. Researchers have identified many misconceptions related to heat and temperature. These misconceptions primarily stem from hunches developed in everyday life (though the confusions in terminology often worsen them). Interactive computer simulations that visualize thermal energy, temperature distribution, and heat transfer may provide a straightforward method for teaching and learning these concepts. Through interacting with visual representations of the concepts and observing how they respond to manipulations, the misconceptions may be dispelled more effectively. This paper presents a new educational simulation tool called Energy2D developed to explore this idea.