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ERIC Number: EJ892052
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Doctor Julius Robert Mayer and Energy Processes in Living Systems
Erlichson, Herman
Physics Teacher, v45 n9 p547-549 Dec 2007
The overwhelming majority of important papers in physics are written by physicists. But the physician Julius Robert Mayer (1814-1878, see photo) did a valid theoretical calculation of the mechanical equivalent of heat just before Joule reported on his results from his well-known paddle-wheel experiments. Joule is well-known to physics people and Mayer is a relatively obscure and unknown name. Joule was part of the physics establishment; Mayer was not. Joule's paddle-wheel experiments were easy to understand, and physics people appreciated the painstaking manner in which he made corrections in his experiments. The fame of Joule is well-deserved. On the other hand, Mayer's work is not traditional and there will almost certainly never be a Mayer physics laboratory experiment. We can admire the tenacity with which Mayer pushed his priority case, but that is all.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A