I am interested to know when and why was the concept of mechanical work (W=F.s) introduced? What was the motivation behind it/ why was it considered meaningful before the work energy theorem?


  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia suggests that it was Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis who introduced the concept of mechanical work in his Calcul de l'Effet des Machines of 1829. His motivation appears to be the application of mechanics to industry. The New World Encyclopedia entry Mechanical Work provides some addition information. $\endgroup$
    – nwr
    Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 17:34


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