Article ID: CBB246799707

Joule's 1840 Manuscript on the Production of Heat by Voltaic Electricity (2020)


In 1840, James Prescott Joule submitted to the Royal Society a paper describing experimental research on the heat produced by electric currents in metallic conductors, and inferring that the effect was proportional to the resistance of the conductors and to the square of the intensity of the current. Only an abstract of this paper was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, although a full paper with a similar title was printed in the Philosophical Magazine in 1841. Several authors have assumed that the content of the 1841 publication was the same as the rejected 1840 paper; however, the unpublished manuscript has been found within the archives of the Royal Society and is published here for the first time, along with a detailed analysis and comparison with the 1841 paper. The unpublished version is much shorter, and is different in certain respects from the published article. A detailed comparison throws light on several shortcomings of the unpublished version. The present work also studies the assessment of Joule's paper by the Royal Society, and elucidates the roles of Peter Roget and Samuel Christie in this connection.

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Authors & Contributors
Gooday, Graeme J. N.
Forrester, John M.
Smith, Crosbie W.
Rossi, Arcangelo
Spargo, P. E.
Sebastiani, Fabio
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa
Giornale di Fisica
Institution of Engineering and Technology
Columbia University Press
Brown University
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of California Press
Electricity; magnetism
Electrical engineering
Heating; ventilation
Joule, James Prescott
Faraday, Michael
Mayer, Julius Robert von
Dupré, John
Varley, Cromwell Fleetwood
Heaviside, Oliver
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
Great Britain
United States
Barcelona (Spain)
American Telephone and Telegraph Company
Royal Society (Great Britain). European Science Exchange Programme
Escuela de Ingenieros de Barcelona
Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona
École Centrale de Paris

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