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30 votes

What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. fly wheels)?

One early invention for storing energy was a basin above the level of the river. It was filled with water when the water in the river was high, and then, when the water in the river was low, it was ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
21 votes

What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. fly wheels)?

This is probably not what you were thinking of but "the earliest invention that allowed energy to be stored and released after a delay even it's just a short time" was a stone. I can store ...
candied_orange's user avatar
10 votes

What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. fly wheels)?

Agriculture The purpose of farming is to harness the freely available energy from the sun, and convert it into a form that can fuel the human body. Agriculture enabled significant food surpluses, ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
8 votes
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"Nuclear fusion is 30 years away" since when?

Although one can find claims that this joke goes back to the 1960s, the joke only really started to bite after the first 30 years of fusion research had passed and we seemed no closer to the goal. ...
David Bailey's user avatar
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7 votes
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Are there any direct comments by Isaac Newton on Leibniz's living force / vis-viva?

The controversy was not so much about the tension between vis viva and mechanics, as about what is the "true" quantity of motion, vis viva or momentum, and what is the "metaphysical&...
Conifold's user avatar
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6 votes

Who was the first scientist to suggest that objects can keep moving without applied force?

This depends on which objects you have in mind and who you would call a scientist. There was a broad consensus in the ancient Greek natural philosophy that superlunar objects, like the stars and ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 76.1k
6 votes

Why is kinetic energy denoted by the letter $T$ in quantum mechanics?

Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis and Jean-Victor Poncelet used the name "quantité de travail" (quantity of work) and "travail mécanique" (mechanical work) to denote the kinetic energy. I guess that this (the ...
Valter Moretti's user avatar
5 votes

How did Huygens derive the conservation law for of kinetic energy?

There are several themes in Huygens' unpublished paper De motu corporum ex percussione ("On the motion of bodies out of collisions"), but maybe the most significant is that he frequently investigates ...
CR Drost's user avatar
  • 406
5 votes

How did Huygens derive the conservation law for of kinetic energy?

("How did Huygens derive the conservation law for of kinetic energy?") Huygens in 'The Motion of Colliding Bodies' (English translation) contributed ingenious reasoning, mathematics and thought-...
terry-s's user avatar
  • 4,455
5 votes

How did Huygens derive the conservation law for of kinetic energy?

The "mathematics" was a combination of experiments with falling bodies, imaginative thought experiments, common sense, and geometric reasoning. Part of it is explained in the book. Galileo ...
Conifold's user avatar
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5 votes

When was the energy of the electron first measured?

I suspect what you really are after is the electron's mass, since we can then "easily" get its energy via an obscure :-) equation developed by some fellow named Einstein. The path thru measuring the ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
5 votes
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Why is kinetic energy denoted by the letter $T$ in quantum mechanics?

I’m pretty sure Lagrange started this, in Méchanique analitique (1788, p. 224; 1809, p. 263; 1811, p. 311; 1815, p. 2): his predecessors mostly worked with the vis viva ($=2T$) instead. (As to why he ...
Francois Ziegler's user avatar
4 votes
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Who discovered the Virial Theorem?

According to the OED, Clausius coined the German word "virial" (from vīs force, strength): a. In Clausius' kinetic theorem of gases: (see quots.). virial theorem, the theorem that for a steady-...
Geremia's user avatar
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4 votes
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References about the the development of the concept of mechanical work

You can see : Agamenon Oliveira, A History of the Work Concept: From Physics to Economics, Springer (2014). Also interesting : Danilo Capecchi, History of Virtual Work Laws: A History of Mechanics ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
4 votes

What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. fly wheels)?

According to this page, charcoal was in use circa 3750 BCE. That's an energy storage medium, although perhaps not the class of energy-release you were thinking of.
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
3 votes

What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. fly wheels)?

Tree limb. Before humans became ground bound, they used tree limbs to catapult themselves to the next tree. But seriously, probably a stone, then a stone attached to a stick, then a stone attached ...
user13675's user avatar
3 votes

What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. fly wheels)?

How about good-old fashioned pit traps? If 'stored energy' is something where you input work ahead of time and then it is expended at a later date for a use, a pit trap is a perfect example. While ...
Daniel B's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why did energy-momentum relationship have to wait until 1928 to be established?

It is not that it had to wait to be "established", it is obtainable from what was known by trivial algebra, but rather that it had to wait for a reason to write it that way. In the early ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 76.1k
3 votes
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When was relativistic mass first observed?

In theory, relativistic mass was preceded by the "electromagnetic mass" introduced by J.J. Thomson in 1881, and further developed by Heaviside (1888), Searle (1897), Poincaré (1900), Abraham (1902), ...
Batiatus's user avatar
  • 496
3 votes
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History of Energy

This is a very interesting and complex topic that is far from closed. Here are some of the sources I have found. Energy the subtle concept, by Jennifer Coopersmith, is probably the book you are ...
chuck's user avatar
  • 236
3 votes
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When was Kelvin's vitalism rejected in physics?

It was normal to accept some form of vitalism way past 1851, and it was still around at the time of Planck's writing in 1897. In fact, vitalism experienced a resurgence in 1870s in response to the ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 76.1k
2 votes

Landau doubting conservation of energy---and what followed

In 1932 Landau speculated that the conservation of energy is not valid in neutron stars and appealed to the authority of Niels Bohr[1]: Following a beautiful idea of Professor Niels Bohr’s we are ...
sand1's user avatar
  • 2,387
2 votes

How did people figure out the formula for mechanical work, and related it to energy?

It was a side effect of the vis viva controversy described in What was the vis viva controversy, including its philosophical aspects? about what to call the "quantity of motion", momentum (...
Conifold's user avatar
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2 votes
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Was annihilation considered in 1905?

Let us consider the following info on developments prior to 1905. Before 1905 (The forthcoming of $E = mc^2$) 1881 J. J. Thompson proposed that a charged conductor in motion increases its mass by $\...
drvrm's user avatar
  • 323
2 votes

Why did energy-momentum relationship have to wait until 1928 to be established?

Actually, it wasn't Dirac who first found that relation. It was already used by Planck as early as in 1906 while deriving the Hamiltonian equations of motion Planck: The Principle of Relativity and ...
Batiatus's user avatar
  • 496
1 vote

What's the history of the use of crude oil for transportation before the Industrial Revolution?

Indirect uses for transportation: "Petroleum is not a recent discovery, it was known to various ancient peoples in Asia, North Africa, Europe, and America where it seeped to the surface and was ...
akhmeteli's user avatar
  • 961
1 vote
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Why energy rate did not replace power = Force times velocity?

The equality $dE/dt=vF$ can be considered a nontrivial insight, and not simply a definition of the term on the right (ot left). An analogous question would be: in light of the equality $E=mc^2$, why ...
Michael Bächtold's user avatar
1 vote

What led to the formula $W=\vec{F} \cdot \overrightarrow{d s}$?

Mirowski P., More heat than light (1989 Cambr.UP), Chap.2. pp.11-98 The history of the energy concept.< It's a great book for various other reasons.> For Ernst Mach, energy was more or less ...
sand1's user avatar
  • 2,387
1 vote

What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. fly wheels)?

I agree to candied_orange that it might be a stone, but for different reasons. There still is a practice among nomadic people to heat stones in a fire [aka store energy] and then transfer them into a ...
Carsten's user avatar
  • 111

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