MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: Who originated the concept of work being force times distance?

Date: Fri Mar 17 23:57:06 2000
Posted by vince ciricola
Grade level: undergrad School: University of Michigan
City: Ann Arbor State/Province: MI Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
ID: 953359026.Ph

I was reading a textbook --not one currently used in my thermo course -- 
and I was surprised to read that the concept of work (Fxd) did not exist 
until 1826 when " was introduced by the French mathematician J. V. 
Ponceletat at the suggestion of G. G. Coriolis..."
I am told that the textbook: Introduction to Chemical Engineering 
Thermodynamics by J. M. Smith and H. C. Van Ness is highly regarded.
I know James Watt was using PV (indicator diagrams) graphs/charts around 
1800 to evaluate steam engines. This seems to conflict with the 1826 
date... unless Watt was unaware of what he was actually measuring.

Re: Who originated the concept of work being force times distance?

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