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Energy, the Subtle ConceptThe discovery of Feynman's blocks from Leibniz to Einstein$
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Jennifer Coopersmith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716747

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716747.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

A Forward Look

A Forward Look

(p.297) 17 A Forward Look
Energy, the Subtle Concept

Jennifer Coopersmith

Oxford University Press

Electromagnetism and other field energies: Maxwell discovered his equations and emphasized that the electromagnetic field contained energy. Poynting explained how this energy was transmitted. The difference between V (electric potential) and V (potential function) is mentioned. Kinetic theory and statistical energy: Clausius introduced ‘mean free path’; Maxwell developed a kinetic theory using statistical ideas (from Quetelet) for the first time in physics; Boltzmann defined entropy as S = klogW and brought in the equipartition theorem. Radiant energy: Planck introduced quantization of energy to overcome the ‘ultraviolet catastrophe’, Heisenberg formulated his Uncertainty Principle, and Hamilton’s work led to Schrödinger’s wave mechanics. From Einstein’s theories of Special and General Relativity came E = mc2 and the gravitational energy-of-the-field. Magnetic, chemical, and nuclear energies are covered. The chapter ends with physicists’ views on cosmic questions, how the light bulb led to a centralized electricity supply, the inefficiency of cars, and so on

Keywords:   field energy, S=klogW, Planck’s equation, Schrödinger’s wave equation, Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, Quetelet, E = mc2, equipartition, Gibbs function, efficiency of cars

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