Energy, the Subtle Concept: The discovery of Feynman's blocks from Leibniz to Einstein by Jennifer Coopersmith | 9780199546503 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Energy, the Subtle Concept: The discovery of Feynman's blocks from Leibniz to Einstein

Energy, the Subtle Concept: The discovery of Feynman's blocks from Leibniz to Einstein

by Jennifer Coopersmith
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199546509

ISBN-13: 9780199546503

Pub. Date: 08/13/2010

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Energy is at the heart of physics and of huge importance to society and yet no book exists specifically to explain this elusive concept, and in simple, largely non-mathematical, terms. In tracking the history of energy and its discovery, this book explains the intellectual revolutions required to comprehend energy. Foundational texts by Descartes, Leibniz.

Overview

Energy is at the heart of physics and of huge importance to society and yet no book exists specifically to explain this elusive concept, and in simple, largely non-mathematical, terms. In tracking the history of energy and its discovery, this book explains the intellectual revolutions required to comprehend energy. Foundational texts by Descartes, Leibniz. Bernoulli. d'Alembert, Lagrange, Hamilton. Boltzmann, Clausius, Carnot, and others are made accessible, and the engines of Watt and Joule are examined.

The book covers some seldom-answered questions, including:

Why just kinetic and potential energies - is one more fundamental than the other?

What are heat, Temperature and action?

What is the Hamiltonian?

What have engines to do with physics?

Why was the steam engine discovered in just one place?

Why S=klogW works and why temperature is IT.

Which is better, the force- or the energy-picture?

The emergence of energy is shown to be, quite literally, a tale of 'smoke and mirrors', It is enlivened by biographical anecdotes and a sprinkling of cultural and philosophical asides.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199546503
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/13/2010
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgements x

List of Illustrations xiii

1 Introduction: Feynman's Blocks 1

2 Perpetual Motion 5

3 Vis viva, the First 'Block' of Energy 14

4 Heat in the Seventeenth Century 46

5 Heat in the Eighteenth Century 63

6 The Discovery of Latent and Specific Heats 78

7 A Hundred and One Years of Mechanics: Newton to Lagrange 91

8 A Tale of Two Countries: the Rise of the Steam Engine and the Caloric Theory of Heat 148

9 Rumford, Davy, and Young 168

10 Naked Heat: the Gas Laws and the Specific Heats of Gases 178

11 Two Contrasting Characters: Fourier and Herapath 201

12 Sadi Carnot 208

13 Hamilton and Green 230

14 The Mechanical Equivalent of Heat 246

15 Faraday and Helmholtz 264

16 The Laws of Thermodynamics: Thomson and Clausius 284

17 A Forward Look 304

18 Impossible Things, Difficult Things 324

19 Conclusions 350

Appendix I Timeline 361

Appendix II Questions 367

Bibliography 370

Notes and References 371

Index 395

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