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Questions tagged [thermodynamics]

For questions about the branch of physics concerning heat and temperature and their macroscopic relationship to energy and work.

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8 votes
1 answer

When were the modern notions of work and energy created

Reading through Wikipedia says that Coriolis was the first to introduce the notion of work, described as "weight lifted through a height". Our modern conception of work is of a force that realizes a ...
Mark Fantini's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers

What is the history of the energy concept and its measurement?

Could someone please explain how the concept of energy was originally conceived and how it evolved over time to our current understanding of it? Also how did people come about various ways of ...
SaitamaSensei's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers

Early history of the phase concept in the physical sciences

One of the first distinctions encountered in science education is that substances can assume different states of matter: for example, water can be found as a liquid, as a solid (ice), or as a gas (...
Semiclassical's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers

Who invented the steam engine: Newcomen or Watt?

The steam engine was one of the main enabling technologies of the industrial revolution. Many histories of the Industrial Revolution chart the steam engine's rise with James Watt. However, Thomas ...
winwaed's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers

What is the history behind defining temperature as measure of hotness?

I know that when two bodies of different temperature are kept in contact "heat" flows from hotter body to colder. But how did anyone know that it is the "hotness" that flows, one could have said that ...
6 votes
1 answer

What is the etymology of "phase space" of a dynamical system?

The state space of a dynamical system is often called a "phase space". What is the etymology of this? (Note that I'm not asking about the history of the concept, but rather about the history of the ...
Kahovius's user avatar
  • 171
4 votes
1 answer

Who determined the temperature of the Sun first?

It is commonplace that it is about 6000 Kelvin. But who came to this value first? And with what method? Based on the black body radiation theory?
John's user avatar
  • 909