Thermodynamics B/C

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Thermodynamics B/C

Postby Adi1008 » August 4th, 2018, 11:35 pm

Thermodynamics B/C: Teams must construct an insulated device prior to the tournament that is designed to retain heat and complete a written test on thermodynamic concepts.

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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby TheChiScientist » September 4th, 2018, 9:21 am

If the mods don't mind I made a separate section to discuss the build as this portion should be more about questions on the testing portion. So excited for this year! :)
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby UTF-8 U+6211 U+662F » September 9th, 2018, 7:46 pm

TheChiScientist wrote:If the mods don't mind I made a separate section to discuss the build as this portion should be more about questions on the testing portion. So excited for this year! :)

Looks like they didn't expand on the rules too much (I feel like those are mostly just clarifications on what the rules from last year entailed). Anyone got any clue why enthalpy is C div only though?

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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby TheChiScientist » September 9th, 2018, 7:52 pm

Could they just be trying to avoid an ES from giving poor Div. B competitors complex enthalpy problems?
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby UTF-8 U+6211 U+662F » September 9th, 2018, 8:01 pm

TheChiScientist wrote:Could they just be trying to avoid an ES from giving poor Div. B competitors complex enthalpy problems?

That doesn't make a lot of sense to me because they allow the ideal gas law and the Carnot cycle. Oh well.

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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby TheChiScientist » September 9th, 2018, 8:22 pm

UTF-8 U+6211 U+662F wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote:Could they just be trying to avoid an ES from giving poor Div. B competitors complex enthalpy problems?

That doesn't make a lot of sense to me because they allow the ideal gas law and the Carnot cycle. Oh well.

Granted these year's rules seem to be more focused on the concepts of Thermo vs the actual number crunching.
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby MattChina » September 11th, 2018, 5:50 pm

Is it me or did they just make the event way easier
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby UTF-8 U+6211 U+662F » September 11th, 2018, 6:32 pm

MattChina wrote:Is it me or did they just make the event way easier

The event is pretty much the same, no? They just added a cotton ball for the build and removed the outside beaker. For the test, they just explicitly outlined some thermodynamic processes that must be on tests. Item v (thermodynamics laws and processes) still leaves enough room for interpretation to include the subjects that weren't explicitly mentioned. It might've gotten easier for B division with the removal of entropy and enthalpy, but I think there's still a lot of wiggle space for interesting questions.

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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby CookiePie1 » September 13th, 2018, 1:50 pm

MattChina wrote:Is it me or did they just make the event way easier


I think the device calibration is a ton easier this year, but the test would probably be the same difficulty
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby Ashernoel » September 13th, 2018, 2:26 pm

Because the scoring is much less generous, I think Thermo is harder this year. The exponential nature of Newton's Law of Cooling means that students at the top could not only impact their own scores with slightly better devices but also greatly diminish others' scores. Each half degree really matters now, where they did not last year.
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby TheChiScientist » September 13th, 2018, 3:04 pm

Ashernoel wrote:Because the scoring is much less generous, I think Thermo is harder this year. The exponential nature of Newton's Law of Cooling means that students at the top could not only impact their own scores with slightly better devices but also greatly diminish others' scores. Each half degree really matters now, where they did not last year.

First off. Nice avatar Asher. :D Second. I totally agree with Asher as this year you will be impacted by being inaccurate. It is now easier to be accurate but... one mistake and you're toast. As for how I interpret the rules I see the test being more concept-based than number crunching. Also in the rules section 4a. Does anyone know how invitationals will work for the volume of water? Will they all just be at 100ml? Or will they use national standards? (Invites that say they will be run like nats are exempt from this question.)
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby Jacobi » September 16th, 2018, 8:36 am

TheChiScientist wrote:
Ashernoel wrote:Because the scoring is much less generous, I think Thermo is harder this year. The exponential nature of Newton's Law of Cooling means that students at the top could not only impact their own scores with slightly better devices but also greatly diminish others' scores. Each half degree really matters now, where they did not last year.

First off. Nice avatar Asher. :D Second. I totally agree with Asher as this year you will be impacted by being inaccurate. It is now easier to be accurate but... one mistake and you're toast. As for how I interpret the rules I see the test being more concept-based than number crunching. Also in the rules section 4a. Does anyone know how invitationals will work for the volume of water? Will they all just be at 100ml? Or will they use national standards? (Invites that say they will be run like nats are exempt from this question.)


1. According to the rules manual, all invitationals are supposed to conform to regionals standards, not nats. How is it that an invite can be run like nats then?

2. I ran a sim in Desmos, and the graph looks fairly linear up through a 75% drop in temperature. Anyone who loses more than that is in big trouble.
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby TheChiScientist » September 16th, 2018, 8:41 am

Jacobi wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote:
Ashernoel wrote:Because the scoring is much less generous, I think Thermo is harder this year. The exponential nature of Newton's Law of Cooling means that students at the top could not only impact their own scores with slightly better devices but also greatly diminish others' scores. Each half degree really matters now, where they did not last year.

First off. Nice avatar Asher. :D Second. I totally agree with Asher as this year you will be impacted by being inaccurate. It is now easier to be accurate but... one mistake and you're toast. As for how I interpret the rules I see the test being more concept-based than number crunching. Also in the rules section 4a. Does anyone know how invitationals will work for the volume of water? Will they all just be at 100ml? Or will they use national standards? (Invites that say they will be run like nats are exempt from this question.)


1. According to the rules manual, all invitationals are supposed to conform to regionals standards, not nats. How is it that an invite can be run like nats then?

2. I ran a sim in Desmos, and the graph looks fairly linear up through a 75% drop in temperature. Anyone who loses more than that is in big trouble.

1. MIT and other big name invites run a nats standards. So this is why I ask.
2. Yea my data sets came to a similar conclusion so best if you avoid that big of a drop. Pro tip if this happens. Build a better box! :D :lol:
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby Unome » September 16th, 2018, 11:38 am

TheChiScientist wrote:
Jacobi wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote:First off. Nice avatar Asher. :D Second. I totally agree with Asher as this year you will be impacted by being inaccurate. It is now easier to be accurate but... one mistake and you're toast. As for how I interpret the rules I see the test being more concept-based than number crunching. Also in the rules section 4a. Does anyone know how invitationals will work for the volume of water? Will they all just be at 100ml? Or will they use national standards? (Invites that say they will be run like nats are exempt from this question.)


1. According to the rules manual, all invitationals are supposed to conform to regionals standards, not nats. How is it that an invite can be run like nats then?

2. I ran a sim in Desmos, and the graph looks fairly linear up through a 75% drop in temperature. Anyone who loses more than that is in big trouble.

1. MIT and other big name invites run a nats standards. So this is why I ask.
2. Yea my data sets came to a similar conclusion so best if you avoid that big of a drop. Pro tip if this happens. Build a better box! :D :lol:

Invitationals ultimately do basically whatever they want as long as they register their tournament and comply with copyright. Almost no invitationals run at Nationals standard - MIT switching to that last year was a surprise. Of the tournaments that specify, most will run at the state level - the vast majority of tournaments just don't say anything.
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Postby Alex-RCHS » September 17th, 2018, 9:38 am

I'm having trouble determining the meaning of rule 5D1, which requires competitors to have data spanning "at least one variable range listed in 4.Part I.a".

To me, a variable range is a high value and a low value and all of the possible values in between for a given variable. For example, 60 degrees to 90 degrees celcius. However, the variables listed in 4.Part I.a are just the time and the possible volumes, which means that for Division B, the only acceptable variable range they can "span" is the volume range from 75 to 125. Why not just say that Division B must have data spanning from 75 to 125 mL? It seems extraordinarily confusing and unnecessary, especially considering Division C could span the "20 to 30 minutes" listed in 4.Part I.a. Furthermore, teams that are only preparing for regionals don't need volume measurements at any volume except 100 mL.

I know this isn't the place for FAQs, but I believe that portal hasn't opened yet on soinc.org. Any other interpretations about what this means, and what must be done to span "at least one variable range"?
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