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All theories of matter, starting with the ancient Greek philosophers, can be classified as either continuous or discrete (i.e., particulate). This dichotomy is due to Aristotle. Aristotle held that matter was continuous: infinitely divisible. Aristotle believed that a vacuum was impossible (indeed, he claimed to prove this). Since a particulate theory ...


11

Both Newcomen and Watt invented 'steam' engines. Both operated by injecting steam into a cylinder, moving a piston in the cylinder. Newcomen's engine is often described as a steam engine but the steam pressure is not really performing the work. Instead, the steam is condensed (by injecting a small amount of water) to produce a partial vacuum. This partial ...


10

This question is intimately connected with the first law of thermodynamics, aka conservation of energy. Kuhn did a detailed study of the question in his paper "Energy Conservation as an Example of Simultaneous Discovery" (reprinted in The Essential Tension). Also quite informative: the introduction by Mendoza to the collection Reflections on the Motive Power ...


9

Stefano Bordoni's 2012 Taming Complexity (e-book from ResearchGate; review) is a good place to start.(Bordoni has a master's degree in physics and three PhDs, in the history of science, anthropology and epistemology of complexity, and philosophy.) Bordoni refers to Brush's 1986 The Kind of Motion We Call Heat: A History of the Kinetic Theory of Gases in ...


8

The word originated with Aristotle, whose "energeia" and "entelecheia" can roughly be translated as enaction, that which makes matter move, and embodiment, that which makes matter take form, respectively. Over the middle ages the attention was focused on "impetus", roughly associated with mass times speed and usually taken to be the precursor of modern ...


7

Presumably the recognition that water, ice and vapor are different states of the same substance goes back to prehistoric times: e.g. boiling water over a fire or observing the melting of ice. The early history of the phase diagram in physics is connected to Gibbs, Maxwell and van der Waals: the van der Waals equation (1873) implies that there are coexisting ...


7

It never got off the drawing board (literally). I have a few sources that suggest that the scientists never got beyond some basic technical drawings and schematics related to the Sun Gun. Admittedly, they aren't the best sources I could hope for, but they agree, so I'm inclined to believe them. The idea was conceived by Hermann Oberth in 1923 (and ...


7

There is a chapter "the history of the energy concept" of some 80 pages in Philip Mirowski's book More heat than light which is rather informative. The main point of the story appears to be that energy is something that is conserved, that is the concept really makes sense as an "invariant". The end of the chapter mentions various energetist and energetisms, ...


7

Your link quickly leads to Middleton, History of the Thermometer and its Use in Meteorology (1966). Pre-1600 (p. 3): The opposition of “hot” and “cold,” like that of “dry” and “moist,” [was] used by Aristotle in the formation of his doctrine of opposites [with] no attempt to assign numbers to these qualities. The great physician Galen [c.129-216] ...


6

As is often the case, nobody was first, but both early and modern estimates of the surface temperature are based on comparisons to the black body radiation, the modern value is about 5800 K. The solar corona is however much hotter, several million K. That was discovered by Grotrian (1939) and independently Edlen, who noticed that the observed spectral lines ...


6

There is a very nice site SnowCrystals.com run by Kenneth Libbrecht, a professor of physics at Caltech, which covers both physics and history, and hosts many captivating images, videos and more. According to Libbrecht's Snowflake History, the first written mention is by Han Yin c. 135-150 BC: "Flowers of plants and trees are generally five-pointed, but ...


6

As Francois Ziegler pointed out, Galen introduced the idea of four degrees of heat and four degrees of cold on either side of a standard neutral temperature around 150 A.D. By the 1300s, the Oxford Calculators, associated with Merton College, Oxford, talked about temperature as if it were a continuous one-dimensional quantity, akin to quantities such as ...


5

Alright after doing some research I figured out the answers to all my questions. 1)Carnot's definition of energy is as follows: it's the energy needed to lift a cubic meter of water one meters high. By definition a cubic meter of water is 1000 kg, and following from the definition of work according to Carnot is: $W=Fd=mgh$ , where $g=9.8 ms^{-2}$ and $h=1 ...


5

Bolzman was closer to the truth. On the modern state of this question, I recommend the classics: Ehrenfest, Paul; Ehrenfest, Tatiana The conceptual foundations of the statistical approach in mechanics. Translated from the German by Michael J. Moravcsik. With a foreword by M. Kac and G. E. Uhlenbeck. Reprint of the 1959 English edition. Dover Publications, ...


5

lmgtfy google cache of mimivanderhave.com 1945 The first double-pane, insulated window was introduced That's without attribution; door and window claims From single to double pane windows… The true evolution of double pane windows originated in 1913 when the Andersen Lumber Co. became the first to manufacture wood window frames. In 1932 they ...


5

I’m afraid he no longer cared. According to Boltzmann biographer E. Broda (1981): (p. 9): One might have thought Boltzmann would, after 1900, in lectures and writings refer to Planck’s work on radiation, made possible by adoption of his own, Boltzmann’s, statistical methods. This was not the case, however. While Boltzmann continued to lecture and publish ...


4

Carnot was not talking about thermodynamics in the same way that Clausius was. Carnot saw the fundamental action as a fluid substance (caloric) being manipulated into motion between a hot place and a cold place. He saw fire as a motive power that could push caloric from one place to another and thus perform work. It was all about "la grande chute du ...


4

The following two books are also very good resources about this topic ; the first one has a more historical approach. Carlo Cercignani, Ludwig Boltzmann. The man who trusted atoms. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998. xviii+329 pp. ISBN: 0-19-850154-4 Giovanni Gallavotti, Statistical mechanics. A short treatise. Texts and Monographs in Physics. Springer-...


4

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-state system of particles obeying an inverse square law of force, the time-average of the kinetic energy equals the time-average of the virial; or equivalently, ...


4

Kelvin did not merely believe that vitalism warranted serious scientific consideration, he thought it to be "absolutely forced by science". In less strong terms, it was a popular idea at the time, given the state of both physics and biology. There was also interest in reconciling physics with free will, etc. Helmholtz, Maxwell, and Boltzmann, among others, ...


3

One of the first theories is due to Newton. He derived a formula for the speed of sound from his wave theory, and compared with experiment. (The experiment was difficult at that time, because of the lack of exact clocks). His theory had a reasonable agreement with the experiment but was not very precise because he did not take thermodynamics into account at ...


3

Hint... See Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962 - 3rd ed), page 98 : a theory like energy conservation [...] emerged from a crisis in which an essential ingredient was the incompatibility between Newtonian dynamics and some recently formulated consequences of the caloric theory of heat. Only after the caloric theory had been ...


3

Mainly in the work of Hermann von Helmholtz in 1847. But of course (as always) there was a long development before and after. http://books.google.com/books?id=C1i4AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA114#v=onepage&q&f=false Notice that Helmholtz did not use the word "energy". At the time of Newton (and even before) it was noticed that some quantities are preserved in ...


3

There is a second sentence to the quote:"The energy of the universe is constant. The entropy of the universe is increasing". The conservation of energy law. The second law of thermodynamics. The quote became famous because from the conjuction of the two conclusion about the heat death of the universe appears to follow. The idea was expressed earlier by ...


3

This question was originally posted to test the limits of what is on and off topic. I was going to eventually post an answer, but I see we have two answers. In my opinion, both answers dance around the subject a little, so I am adding my own answer. This kind of question is always going to be partially subjective. Locomotive development tended to occur in ...


3

Long ago I had to make a project about this topic. I disagree with other answers: Lord Kelvin, with the help of Joule, did actually find the absolute scale, because there's much more you are missing. It's true that it was well known that $T=-273 ºC$ was acually the temperature at which wolume predicted for ideal gases gets zero. You can see it in many books ...


3

The unabridged Oxford English dictionary clarifies the "when" part of the question. Also consult the paper in Nature (1949) https://www.nature.com/articles/163427a0 for the historic discussion (paper is open access). However, the modern reference point is triple point of water, "The Celsius scale is defined using the T.Pt. = 0.01 °C with 1 °C made identical ...


3

Although the concept of the existence of the atoms originates from the ancient Greek, for them it was yet more a philosophical concept, they were very far from any experimental proof.1 Later, mainly the chemistry provided the first suggestion that it might be an experimental fact. However, none of these results was strong enough at the time. In the late ...


3

The best source of word origins and their earliest usages is the Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary. You need a library subscription. The first meaning could be of mathematical original since n can assume several values Mathematics. Of a function: taking several different values for each value of the variable; many-valued. Cf. monotropic adj. 1. ...


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