19

It is not random. These names are of Greek origin, and -ic or -ics are Anglicizations of the Greek suffix -ikos, which meant "pertaining to". In other languages it can be rendered as -ika or -ica, Wolfram's "Mathematica" uses such a version. From the Online Etymology Dictionary: "-ics in the names of sciences or disciplines (acoustics, aerobics, ...


5

In a way everyone knew that it was heat that is flowing and coldness is absence of heat. But how did they know it? The answer, quite simply, is that they didn't know it. Coldness was frequently measured in degrees just as heat was, and terms like degrees of frost were in common use even into the early 20th century. Alternative temperature scales like the ...


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

It makes no difference for either measuring temperature, or calculating heat flow, what flows there, if anything. So experimental basis for measuring temperature was established long before the nature of what was measured became clear. As Fowler writes in Early Attempts to Understand Heat: "By the late 1700’s, the experiments of Fahrenheit, Black and ...


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. ...


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 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 ...


2

A piece of info that is key for energy as a concept is Emmy Noether's brilliant work on symmetry and conservation laws. I have not come accross an explanation of the Noether Theorem that I can understand in detail, but I think this wikipedia article provides a good illustration: if a physical process exhibits the same outcomes regardless of place or time, ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible