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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 ...


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 ...


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Carnot wanted to answer two questions about the operation of heat engines: "Is the work available from a heat source potentially unbounded?" and "Can heat engines in principle be improved by replacing the steam with some other working fluid or gas?" He attempted to answer these in a memoir, published as a popular work in 1824 when he was only 28 years old. ...


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