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ERIC Number: EJ931302
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
The Cooling Law and the Search for a Good Temperature Scale, from Newton to Dalton
Besson, Ugo
European Journal of Physics, v32 n2 p343-354 Mar 2011
The research on the cooling law began with an article by Newton published in 1701. Later, many studies were performed by other scientists confirming or confuting Newton's law. This paper presents a description and an interpretation of Newton's article, provides a short overview of the research conducted on the topic during the 18th century, and discusses the relationships between the research on cooling laws and the definition of a temperature scale, as it was treated in Newton's article and in the work of Dalton, including Dalton's search for the absolute zero of temperature. It is shown that these scientists considered the exponential cooling law as a fundamental principle rather than a conjecture to be tested by means of experiments. The faith in the simplicity of natural laws and the spontaneous idea of proportionality between cause and effect seem to have strongly influenced Newton and Dalton. The topic is developed in a way that can be suitable for both undergraduate students and general physicists. (Contains 2 footnotes and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A