Title: The narrative structure of continuum thermodynamics
Authors : Fuchs, Hans Ulrich
Published in : Science education research for evidence-based teaching and coherence in learning : proceedings of the ESERA 2013 conference
Pages : 49
Pages to: 60
Conference details: ESERA conference 2013, Nicosia, Cyprus, 02-07 September 2013
Publisher / Ed. Institution : European Science Education Research Association
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Nicosia
Issue Date: 2014
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (Abstract)
Language : English
Subjects : Thermodynamics; Image Schemas; Cognitive Linguistics; Narrative; Narrative and story; Dynamical theory of heat; Metaphor; Temperature; Caloric; Entropy; Energy; Figurative structures; Forces of nature; Image schemas
Subject (DDC) : 530: Physics
Abstract: If a good story and a well-formed argument are considered different natural kinds, there does not seem to be much hope for narrative structures in a formal theory. However, when we apply cognitive linguistics to recent theories of continuum thermo-dynamics, a different picture emerges. We can show that the concepts of continuum physics are embodied and result from our figurative mind operating on experiences of nature. A basic structure of experience is the gestalt of forces - causative powerful phenomena ranging from music to justice to electricity and heat. Humans have developed narrative approaches to understand such phenomena. In this paper, I will show that image schematic structures, metaphoric projections, and an extended model of narrative apply to the cognitive structure of continuum physics. Since the use of natural language in continuum physics literature is fairly limited, I will apply cognitive schematic analyses to the equations and make the results transparent by introducing visual schemas and metaphors for the concepts. The gestalt of forces such as fluids or heat is structured in terms of three main aspects. The three basic schemas that are projected metaphorically are those of quality (intensity), quantity (object, fluid substance), and force or power. In a continuum model of thermal conduction, the law of balance of entropy is analogous to that of chemical substance or electric charge. Add to this the meaning of temperature as a (vertical) scale and the relation of temperature and entropy to the power of heat and you end up with a minimal Cognitive Model of heat as a powerful agent. Agents are perfect elements of narrative. Therefore, a narrative approach to science is not limited to humans acting in the endeavor of science. The most formal theories of continuum physics tell stories of forces of nature - they are narratives.
Departement: School of Engineering
Organisational Unit: Institute of Applied Mathematics and Physics (IAMP)
Publication type: Conference Paper
ISBN: 978-9963-700-77-6
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/16684
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Engineering

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