School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Thermal Imgaging Camera

Keeping Track of Heat

With the thermal imaging camera many, partly everyday reactions and processes can be observed from a completely new point of view.

From the point of view that although the physical quantity of heat plays an important role in natural sciences, the exact concept and the statements associated with it often present problems both at school and during studies, a closer examination and the conception of new teaching and learning contents on this subject area is of interest.

Within this framework, contents were created for a learning unit in which students approach heat (energy) in various experiments:

The laboratory work is planned partly as free, explorative experimentation, partly as more experiments with direct instructions. Thermograms are recorded and evaluated with the plug-in thermal imaging camera "Seek Thermal Compact", operated on an iOS or Android tablet. Some experiments are performed with a low-cost do-it-yourself night vision camera.

In terms of content, the following aspects will be addressed and experimentally discovered in the various stations of the learning units:

  • General information about thermal imaging cameras, thermograms and their evaluation
  • Absorption, transmission and reflection of thermal radiation
  • The electromagnetic spectrum, visible and infrared range and Wien's displacement law
  • Technical applications such as motion detectors, night vision cameras and IR spotlights, examination of paintings,
  • Comparison of different illuminants and energy discussion and chemiluminescence
  • Everyday themes such as evaporative cooling, pocket warmer, 1st aid blanket and the effect of clothing
  • Chemical processes and reactions such as heat of dissolution and neutralisation
  • Entropy and activation energy, as well as thermal conductivity

Students can then record their results in pictures, text, sound, and video in an interactive eBook created on the tablet and take them home.

The thermal imaging camera is a cost-effective new way to capture data in laboratories and schools. It is ideal for the use of digital media in teaching. It can be used quickly and in a variety of ways and can provide new or expanded access to chemical and physical processes.

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