Article ID: CBB534439403

Helmholtz, the Conservation of Force and the Conservation of Vis Viva (2019)


This paper investigates the relationship between Helmholtz's formulation of the principle of the conservation of force and the two principles well known in rational mechanics as the principle of vis viva and the principle of the conservation of vis viva. An examination of the relevant literature from Leibniz to Duhamel reveals both Helmholtz's indebtedness to that tradition and his creative refashioning of it as he endeavoured to craft an argument that would both prohibit the construction of a perpetuum mobile and the efficacy of a supposed vital force and demonstrate the necessity of an ontology of mass points subject to attractive and repulsive central forces depending solely on distance.

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Authors & Contributors
Cahan, David L.
ten Hagen, Sjang L.
Wegener, Daan
Underwood, Ted
Rieger, Matthias
Pantalony, David Alexander
Science and Education
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft
Thoemmes Press
MIT Press
Conservation of energy (physical concept)
Energy (physics)
Helmholtz, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von
Mayer, Julius Robert von
Mach, Ernst
Joule, James Prescott
Du Bois-Reymond, Emil Heinrich
Boltzmann, Ludwig
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
17th century
United States
Great Britain
Royal Society (Great Britain). European Science Exchange Programme

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