Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics
Title page to French physicist Gustave Hirn's 1868 book Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics, in which the Hirn attempts to outline a philosophy of human existence based on the universal principles of thermodynamics. [1]
In famous publications, Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics or Métaphysique et Conséquences Philosophiques de la Thermodynamique: l'Analyse Fondamentale de l'Univers (Metaphysics and Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics: Basic Analysis of the Universe) is an 1868 book by French physicist Gustave Hirn in which the philosophical ramifications of the newly-forming universal science of thermodynamics are considered in respect to the meaning of human existence. [1] It is this work of Hirn, along with his earlier measurements of the mechanical equivalent of heat of humans in action, to which the term 'human thermodynamics' was first used in, specifically in the 1893 paper “The Scientific Work of Gustav Adolph Hirn” by English engineer Bryan Donkin. [2]

The following seems to be Hirn's synopsis or rather origin of the book:

“Six of the following sketches were read to the Society of Natural History Colniar, and were printed in the Bulletin of the Society under the name of reading. Many people have hoped, most flattering for me to see them reprinted at a larger number of copies, I decided to make them serve as an introduction to a great work I had long been in preparation. I have reviewed carefully, I have stripped to affect the local character, and I have supplemented by a seventh sketch entirely new. As such, they are full and faithful expression of the book which they are used as input. They express the same thought in a form more accessible to the generality of cultivated minds. Their appearance, sometimes almost slight, will perhaps accept more readers walking austere book itself. It will prove at least to a mathematician and a physicist may, whenever he wants, think, feel and write in the language of everybody.”

In his second sketch, interestingly Hirn devotes a section to "positive and negative work to be alive", which seems to be a direct extrapolation of German physicist Rudolf Clausius' conception of positive work and negative work.

English translation
No English translation, as yet, seems to exist. Shown below is the partial start of a straight French → English Google translation of Hirn's book.

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Philosophical and metaphysical Implications of

The unity of our finished works of art and the unity of this
artwork infinite and admirable, which is self universe, resulting
of harmony in diversity, not the identity of parties.

PARIS: GAUTH1ER-Villars, PRINTER, BOOKSELLER OF POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL, THE OFFICE OF LONGITUDES, Quai des Augustins, 55, 1868; [Graphic] [merged small] HIS EXCELLENCY DUKUY, MINISTER OF EDUCATION, Tribute high gratitude and affectionate sympathy,

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INTRODUCTION: Page » Aim and purpose of this book. - Method and demonstration elements employees. - Players whom he talks (I)

PRELIMINARY SKETCHES: Exhibition basic mechanical theory of heat and its philosophical consequences (15)

FIRST SKETCH: Preliminary definitions. - Proposal of fundamental mechanical theory nic heat. - Application to heat engines, the phenomena general physical. - Kinship that the new doctrine establishes between all the physical sciences. - Equivalence of all forces of nature (17)

SECOND SKETCH: Application of the mechanical theory of heat engines animated. - Sources of vital heat. - Similarity of the organization Areas live with our engines. - Positive and negative work to be alive. - The first proposal of thermodynamics apply to these beings as our engines. - Details on the physiological functions of animated motors. - In what parts of the body is consumes heat as much as to work (30)

THIRD OUTLINE: Philosophical Implications of the mechanical theory. - Study the na-sor ing forces in general. - Where it ends up equating to a force simple motion of ponderable matter. - Materialism as Radical leaves Celtic necessarily assimilation. - Refutation of the assi- Milat. - The strength, considered in general, is a separate principle Pages matter: it is, just like it, a mild constituent of the universe. - Classification of forces. - Events various forces. - Materialism, pantheism and spirituality: their " definition. - Refutation of the first two doctrines. Fault-where fell frequently supporters of the third (53

FOUR SKETCH: Study on the fundamental principles of living beings. - Distinction between the body of a living body and ordinary, or even the machine most perfect. - There is no specific vital forces. - Chemistry called organic. - Points of similarity of all living beings. - Points community. - Every living being is endowed with a soul Force, which characterizes and distinguishes it from all others. - - Unit of this principle in each. - Nature's transcendent animistic element (7i)

FIFTH SKETCH: Digression. - Doctrines of spontaneous generation and transmutabi- ity of species. - Exaggeration of the second. - These two doctrines, were they true, do not lead to materialism as the (112)

SIXTH SKETCH: General function of forces in the universe. - They occur, not just as dynamic powers, but as principles relationship between human beings. - Constancy of the sum of work-inch tential that represents all the forces in the universe. - Cons- consequences of this principle. Function-forces in the human body. (132)

SKETCH SEVENTH: Thought expresses the whole universe. - The words destiny and destination nation shall not apply to any being, one to the exclusion of another. - Every being and the whole process of beings and carry-sui efore a universal law of development. - The existence of this Act alters the ideas that men are on purpose beings. - Lack of distinction of the three kingdoms. - Analogy and radical distinction between the inanimate universe and the universe animated. - Laws of universal harmony, common; \ all beings. " . . . . (151)


BOOK FIRST. - CHAPTER I: Pages A superficial glance, like a thorough study of phe- mena, lead us to recognize in the inanimate universe the existence existence of two distinct classes of components. - Review Special cial element of the field. - Existence of the finished material atom and immutable (I99)

CHAPTER II: Pervasiveness of physical sciences .- Vanity desphilosophies who claim to be outside of them. - Is pure Pantheism refuted by the mere fact of the existence of a material atom finite and unchanging form (212)

BOOK SECOND. - CHAPTER I: Necessary existence of the intermediate element specifically distinct from element material. - Various interpretations proposed for the pheno- mena dynamic. - Refutation of these doctrines. - Conclusion general (22I); g 1. Refutation of the doctrine that ascribes the phenomena of light, heat, electricity, fluids separate matter, but for- as similar to it in their gasoline 22S; g 2. Refutation of the doctrine that ascribes the phenomena of light, heat, electricity, simple movements that would occur in substances distinct from matter, yet it has similar in essence (227); 3. Refutation of the doctrine which assigns all the phenomena of the universe to simple movements of matter. - First afllrmation rational tional and synthetic (230); ji 4. Refutation of the doctrine that ascribes the phenomena called imponance- ronment for the movement of material, due to gravitation. . 251; 5. Consequences of the preceding paragraph (277)

CHAPTER II: Immediate consequences of previous rebuttals. - General Attributes ciples and functions of the intermediate species considered. 280 \ 1. As of forces, the elements are not subject Intermediaries conditions of finite time and space (284); 2. Intermediate elements fall into force at constant and forces of varying intensity. - Connection between the attribute ■ Force and Movement Dynamics attribute (287); g 3. Proposals basic mechanical theories of heat, electricity, etc. (297).

BOOK THIRD. - CHAPTER I: Are there different kinds of atoms materials? (306); CHAPTER II: Are there different species of intermediate or dynamic?. (3I8); CHAPTER m; Executive Summary. - Summary of inanimate nature in the universe .... (330); FOURTH: The natural synthesis "she replied to our internal aspirations? .... (335); CHAPTER I: g 1. The difficulty we experience in designing a proper power itself is purely subjective, and no system can avoid this difficulty (337); g 2. Origin of the concept of force. - This concept is similar to that of the infinite. - It is innate in humans. - Causes which trouble us (340); g 3. The concept of t'infini us as natural and as necessary as the finish. - A force can pull or pushing two points maléricls towards each other, the intermediate element manifesting itself as force does merely establishes between these two points one report of a special nature the consequence of which is the movement of these points if they are free. . (3S0)

Chapter No.: How to understand the simplicity in nature. - This simcity is not that of our arithmetic is that of art. - The multiplicity of components whose analysis reveals the existence in the universe is in no way an objection against the truth synthesis of natural (357); Chapter m. Refutation of some of the fundamental propositions of materializism ... . 36 "

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ANIME WORLD; FIFTH BOOK. - CHAPTER I: Pages Overview. Double-point of view from which arises naturally tion the study of living things. - What is the pandynamism modern. - Only using natural science as we power- soaps refute (375); CHAPTER II: From the living being in its present state, in itself, and not compared with other living beings (381); g I. From the living being abstractly and in itself .... (382); 2. In the animistic element considered in itself and in its reports with other elements - I. Responding to allegations of materializism based on physiology. - II. Between the animate element and material elements of the body there is no direct contact, and all the relationship between these two classes of elements are established by the intermediate element. - III. The psychic element, although confine in the body, is not subject to the conditions of the finite espace. - Trend fault that we have to give a closed form has all existence. - V. Unity of all faculties and all acts of psychic element. - VI. From the notion of time. - The memory of time is a mental faculty only (395)

Chapter m.: From the living being in its relations with other living beings. - Are there different kinds of animistic elements? (449); 1. The psychic element of man is this a different type elements that enliven the animals, or is it just another case? (452); g 2. The plant is it a living being? The psychic component of the plant is there another kind, or is it just another case that the animal than man? (479);

Chapter IV: Living beings considered in time in their origin, their succession, changes in their (486); § I. Organic life may manifest itself in an environment where there is found no germ of a previous life? (490); ij 2. Changes which may body of living beings; causes; Popes important of these changes. - The various species of beings virants. Can they transform into one another? (493); g 3. The animistic elements considered in their origin and their successor assignment (503); § 4. General conclusions. - Gaze thrown together on the synthesis natural of the animated universe. - The role that this synthesis assigns to man on this earth (513); V. Digression final. - Indissoluble Union of Science and the cosmological Religion (521)

NOTES AND ADDITIONS: Notes on pages 48 and 249 533; Notes on pages 269 and 270 534; Addition on pages 398 and 428. Memoir on the flow speed nerve in sensation and in the act of volition 538 [Merged small] [OCR errors] [merged small] [merged small].

Aim and object of this suppties shipped. - Method and demonstration / clothing emptoyés. - Players whom it is addressed. The first title of this book does not indicate that the starting point and the general method. The second, however, indicates clearly the goal.

Proceed towards distinct beings in the sensible world, as the chemist proceeds in respect of a body that analysis, look what is the elementary constitution of beings, from the grain of sand to the stars of the firmament , from the humble fungus to man, such is the daring that I proposed.

I support explicitly upon Tépithète I just used so that the reader does not believe for one moment that I should do the slightest illusion about the difficulty and size of the company. I'm even going on, and for the same reason, bring out the magnitude of the difficulty and the grandeur of the problem. I will then be much easier to identify my personality in my work, and show that if the problem is resolved in its entirety from the very introduction, it is not by me but by science and Using modern analytical methods.

The sages, philosophers, thinkers of all time, tried to guess the elementary constitution of the universe. The first man who looked eagerly plunged into the vastness of the heavens, or in the petals of a flower, or in his own being, must have wondered: "What is the nature of everything around me, what is my own nature? "

At all times too, these important questions were answered, still very firm and determined, but still very contradictory. However, if one takes the trouble to weigh the answers, so varied in appearance, it is recognized that they can be reduced to three very distinct. The solution, in fact, has somehow embodied in three huge doctrines, which have lasted for centuries, by modifying and perfecting itself, parallel to cféveloppement of the human mind in all its entirety. All blanks, like all the most distinct statements, concerning the elementary constitution of the universe, ultimately result in SPIRITUALISM, to pantheism or materialism.

For the ordinary scholar, that is to say the spirits disinclined to reflection, and yet avail themselves of the daily common terms of philosophical sciences, spiritualism is simply the assertion of a creator God and spirit and the human soul, spirit ellemême, known to survive and feed our organic existence of this world, materialism is precisely the opposite of that statement, he also intertwines with pantheism, and results in the eyes public tarnished by atheism, fatalism, rationalism, skepticism. etc.. In this form, of course, these doctrines would incidentally be included in an analytical study on the composition of beings. Indeed, although their definitions, and asked, responding to one side of the question, does not form any idea of a demonstration based on reason and experience, and does a blind statement.

But it is easy to bring these three words to their true meaning. The materialism, considered an analytical theory of the universe, admits, and can admit only one kind of essential elements: 1a matter existed from all eternity, and everywhere identical with itself, c ' is with this element and its only movement that not only did he claim, but he suffered the sentence to explain all phenomena possible, since the movement of the stars, since the formation of the crystal, until the thought in its most sublime developments. I say he suffered a conviction, and this was well understood by all his supporters consistent with themselves. As soon as he accepts more than one kind of elements, as he admits, for example, the existence of a dynamic element capable of giving rise to the motion in the matter without motion earlier, he no longer no reason to reject the existence of a third element, Calvin animistic necessary to give rise to the phenomena of organic life ceases to be himself, or rather, he has no reason to being, it becomes a matter of fact, and cease to be a doctrine of principles.

Pantheism (God in everything, everything in God) also admits an element but this element, far from being

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always and everywhere identical with itself, is instead likely of all possible transformations, it can become spirit, force or matter it contains, in its essence and potentiality, all possible phenomena and may temporarily individualized as distinct beings, which, after a cycle of changes, of themselves absorbed in the great Whole. Between this and the previous doctrine there is a chasm: the point of view of principle as that of the straightforward interpretation of the facts.

Spiritualism is more difficult to Deune, or, rather, its forms are more varied, but we can say that its essence is to admit not only the variety of items from the material to the pure spirit, but also and above all, the indestructibility and individuatité of these elements. This is at least the form of this doctrine when it is logical and consistent with herself.

These three doctrines, see, are. each in its way, a real analysis of the constitution of beings. Applied to very particular of our own being, this analysis tells us the name of materialism, that man there is matter, and that his thought is a movement of atoms on behalf of pantheism, that the Man is both matter, Strength and Soul, forming a single species transmutable, each of these three words does a fashion in the name of spiritualism, that man is at least matter and mind, considered forever separate elements.

These three doctrines have crossed the centuries under the sway of progress. Materialism, obviously. has never been a philosophical doctrine somehow separate from practical life. In pantheism and spiritualism, on the contrary, are based and rendered, not only all religions possible, but all religious aspirations isolated from human consciousness.

These three interpretations are facing today, in the form of overt or covert, in all our societies. What do I say? They face and prevail alternately in the heads of many men who can think, when, returning to themselves, they look at large views, beliefs they have been taught from childhood, and that face of all, they dare not pretend to doubt.

The expression of daring that I used from the outset, specifying the purpose of this book is not too strong, it seems at least, and most readers probably will ask me: " By what right do you solve a problem you call itself secular, and you confess exist or have existed in the minds of many men, some think they know? "The question would be overwhelming if possibility of solving the problem only depended on the more or less force of our intellect alone, and if, therefore, the personality of each man thinking only intervened. That is, thank you god, not the case, and here comes a great power far more than any exceptional genius, here our personality as it disappears entirely, to make way for a collective strength which now has each of us.

Any analysis requires knowledge of the attributes of being analyzed, and the parties are supposed to form the components of that being. An elemental analysis of the universe or the beings who compose it assumes knowledge as complete as possible for all phenomena that leads the competition of the things we claim to isolate in thought. This analysis is thus exclusively for all our natural and exact sciences, Science cosmogonic, and everything we try, outside the field of science can be a hypothesis, or theory and systematically biased.

This assertion, which the evidence is likely to hit everyone, we now understand very well how our big problem was and has been through the ages without being resolved, how the three fundamental doctrines that I have specified are held face to face, without one or the other has never been completely victorious or defeated. All of our exact knowledge of the phenomena of the sensible world, Scientific cosmogony, in fact, is subject to the law of progress as possible all the work of the human spirit. What was impossible yesterday, she solves today what he is missing today, it will reach tomorrow. Our problem has been resisting for centuries, but we have the right to say one day it will be defeated by science.

In this sense, the only critical question to ask is this: "How do you know if it is time to attack a question of wise think out of the reach of human reason, as it has always seemed difficult?" If our science would step and regularly, it would be almost impossible to decide when. But that is not their operation. They shall, in fact, somewhat jerkily, their power is focused to a point sometimes, sometimes to another, a set of unexpected discoveries of the same family will often opens a horizon which no one suspected the vicinity.

Our era has been, or rather is the witness of a very striking phenomenon of development of this kind. In one of the most special of physics, in that which has for its object the study of heat, it has recently made a radical revolution in all the ideas accredited so far: a series of experimental facts, apparently paradoxical and strangers to each other, have been linked to the most brilliant in the mathematical analysis, the revolution effected in this isolated spot has quickly gained step by step, and has established a relationship now inseparable, or rather, confounded in a single beam of science that seemed to have nothing in common. Mechanics, physics, chemistry, physiology ...., spontaneously grouped around a common core of principles indelible.

Following the special character of this great and remarkable movement, the most conservative minds, the most timid, found themselves drawn to discourse on the nature of matter, forces, probing the mysteries of life and falling in excess quite opposite to their habits, have finally found what they believed easily possible. A considerable number of books of all sizes, all styles, but all marked the same trend appeared in recent times, there trying to dissect the phenomena, to trace the causes, determine the nature of the causes.

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open before them, have given to explain this major source of movement, saying it is an effect of the will of God, as if, at this point of view, the smallest of the phenomena of nature was not as an effect of this will, and they looked painfully linking all possible dynamic phenomena that only force, which is not yet over one of their own confession.

If, as a physicist and as a metaphysician, I was mistaken in thinking that the only language of facts now known and well understood it is possible to draw a natural and general synthesis, embracing all phenomena of the universe if I gave the epigraph to this book, which shows all the trends, should be only an expression of poetic illusion on my part, I do not at least be difficult to show that the eloquence of facts sufficient to rebut the unitary synthesis is claimed to be written so clearly in the great book of nature. As a physicist, and an objective point of view, I shall not prove that a phenomenon so admirably analyzed and grouped together in these last days, will legitimize the explanatory hypothesis, and also the most specious, we presented as the only true on the nature of forces. As a metaphysician, and a subjective point of view, I know perhaps better still bring out the close connection between pure materialism and synthesis Unitarian, I shall show that materializing phenomena we have inflicted the same out to others who will seem completely foreign. and that to be called spiritualist, not to be simply materialistic inconsistent, it is not enough to make professions of orthodox faith, to deliver at all times solemnly called Creator, draw a chalk line through the phenomena of nature, and declare that everything is on one side, and pure spirit of the other! Conditions are less specious necessary for us to say really belong to one or another of our three major philosophical doctrines.

The first title of this book, I said, indicates the starting point and the method. The creation of thermodynamics is a new era in the development of all our science, and not just that the only physical - mechanical. She came to enforcing laws and defined clear interpretation of a host of phenomena which seemed to have no other rule than chance. To identify the various species of elements that constitute beings, and who, by their mutual relations, give rise to. phenomena, it was natural to start from the very principles that have somehow changed our science, and linked them into a single beam. From these principles I have tried to draw philosophical and metaphysical implications, I was constantly causes from effects: I have used, in a word, almost exclusively critical and analytical method. This method, despite what has been said, is the true power of our science, and for having abandoned too soon, that many modern thinkers, believers found a general synthesis, have led that to small partial syntheses, devoid of any viability. Explain life by electricity, heat, electricity, magnetism, gravitation, universal gravitation by the movement of matter or the will. God is not explaining anything at all, or rather, it will translate, in the form of sensory images and palpable, which in the reality of nature, can affect any figure!

And now, am I allowed to say to whom I offer this book? Is it permissible for an author to say that he wants to be read? I think, in all cases, filling almost an obligation to say to whom I méconseille read me.

The epigraph of the book shows all the trends. It is, as a philosophical work, the refutation of materialism and pantheism, a justification of spiritualism as absolute but is, as a work of pure science, a refutation of all theories partial quis physics, mechanics, lead straight to the two First doctrines any sensible mind and consistent with himself. The author would hope or wish an official success and welcome the crowd literate, can not do better.

But as a work of pure science, this book goes against many: the author, thank you god, is far from alone in his opinion, but it is nevertheless a small number to fight against the ideas present the vast majority of scientists. This is not an element of success among its peers. If, as a work of philosophy, this book refutes materialism and pantheism to top spiritualism, he reasons carefully with the first doctrine, he attacks with respect to the second, and it points very often deplorable excess third. The author was careful not to insult the philosophers who accept the materialism or pantheism as scientific truth: he knows that among them are the most powerful minds of these two centuries, he knows many of them of QENS honest, he knows that the materialist, in the bad sense of the word, that the intelligent man who has neither faith nor law, which at every moment, violating its most basic duties towards himself and towards others , is found in all camps, and perhaps in greater numbers in the camp of so-called purists. He knows that many Christians are blind to their pantheistic, and all are even some points. The insult, in a word, has no place in this book. This is not an element of success either, among the large number of less.

For many people it's almost a crime to prove the truth of what they believe is true, because a reasoned demonstration finds a doubt and the need for verification. They prefer to accept without examining what they have been taught true or false by the yoke of authority, rather than to scrutinize and dig. Let those who are endowed with this strong faith, who believe that man is free to believe what he wants, who have hatred in my heart and lightning for any opponent in hand, hastily closed the book and return it on the shelves of the bookstore, the author has never been blessed with this faith there, perhaps he would even volunteer that he had the good fortune never to possess.

This is a book of science, it is therefore aimed firstly, in its entirety, to the scientists, who fear or do not disdain occasionally to leave the restricted circle of their special works to shed light on philosophy of science. But, I hope at least, its introduction, if not its entirety, will find the sympathies of a still larger class of readers.

Many sensible minds know from experience that one is not free to believe the false and absurd, without being sated with what we liked to call the forbidden fruit, yet they have enough learned to know the historical and scientific formulas that the authority of caste, of all time, substituted the aspirations of the human conscience. Knowing now what to expect on allirmations sententious old codes, somewhat satisfied, on the other hand, contradictory statements of those who speak in the name of science, they look back with disappointment, and apprehension ahead : doubt, in short, has bitten the heart. On certain days of the funeral event, under the blows of injustice, the grave of a loved one in these days when the ground beneath the feet lack of stronger, they could not see the absurdity of one side and nothing on the other, despair is their lot, until the most powerful of doctors, the time has closed the wound. These, I dare believe, will be a joyful surprise that positive science and experimental opens today at the horizon thinker more comforting and serene, they recognize that if the revelations of nature lead to the ultimate denial at certain points, they do not push for doubt, in other key points, that when we bring in interpreting the obstinacy of a preconceived system, wrong or this method of investigation, which leads us to conclude before we possess the rudiments of a conclusion. It is these that addresses the introduction of this book: each line, they will recognize one of their kind and sympathetic friend. But they go beyond the introduction, if they still doubt, and if they do not fear the more austere language of a true scientific demonstration. The thought of being useful to one of those, I pay all my toil and all my efforts.

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This book is the analytical expression of all sciences, scientific cosmogony, as I learned to understand, and not at all the statement of a systematic collection of ideas. That's a little too thought of themselves for saying a little too often my summary, my philosophy, that many authors have led only to dead-born blanks. But even in this sense, will I always knew not to speak, but let him speak properly part of science that I was able to kiss? Alas Here again, more than once without doubt, the personality of the writer will reappear, and with it human error. If I had such faith in myself, believe that strong, which are indispensable for carrying out its end a great job, I am once myself finishing my work, and, terrified at the thought of the probable imperfections of this work I had to console myself by remembering the words of the great poet:

Es IRRT der Mensch, so tany 'er strebt! ("Man errs as he strives toward his goal."). That is, the man wanders as it is in this world.


Six of the following sketches were read to the Society of Natural History Colniar, and were printed in the Bulletin of the Society under the name of reading. Many people have hoped, most flattering for me to see them reprinted at a larger number of copies, I decided to make them serve as an introduction to a great work I had long been in preparation . I have reviewed carefully, I have stripped to affect the local character, and I have supplemented by a seventh sketch entirely new. As such, they are full and faithful expression of the book which they are used as input. They express the same thought in a form more accessible to the generality of cultivated minds. Their appearance, sometimes almost slight, will perhaps accept more readers walking austere book itself. It will prove at least a mathematician and a physicist may, whenever he wants, think, feel and write in the language of everybody.


Preliminary definitions. - Proposal of the basic mechanical theory. - Application to heat engines, the physical phenomena in general .- Relationship establishes that the new doctrine among all the physical sciences. - Equivalence of all forces of nature.

In the course of the last twenty years, science has been enriched by a great conquest, which will mark the history of human knowledge the beginning of a new era. The foundation and the building of the mechanical theory of heat actually constitute a step forward as crucial as that of universal gravitation. By its very modest way, the mechanical theory of heat seems to be a special branch of a limited and special itself of physics. In reality, it is a whole science of which all other natural sciences sontdéjà become dependent. That is, among other things, I will highlight in these sketches, in a form that will convince everyone.

To our surprise, we see the mechanical theory of heat we drive level on the field of physiology, and spread the brightest light on has some problems long dark and then allow us to tackle some issues of psychology known for centuries out of the reach of Sciences. Moreover, and this is already striking a physician, Dr. Mayer of Heilbronn, who first makes a key proposals of the mechanical theory, based on considerations drawn mostly from the reign of beings. In short, what will strike most legitimately, that the universality of the consequences of some of the elementary propositions of doctrine is the kinship and solidarity it makes between science that we had until here separate flood and were taught separately.

Taken in the literal meaning of its title, the mechanical theory is to study the necessary relations between the phenomena of heat and of static or dynamic balance of ponderable matter. This definition alone already provides a hyphen between the two sciences now inseparable apparently very distinct between the mechanics and physics.

I began by clarifying the meaning of two expressions belonging to these sciences, and whose employment will save us long and frequent circumlocutions. I mean this is in physics is called a unit of heat or calories, and this in mechanics is called a work unit, a dynamic.

The heat, as we know, can not be weighed or gauged, and it is indeed a force, it can not be properly assessed by its effects. What we call the temperature of a body, and what we measure with our thermometers, is, properly speaking, the intensity of caloric force currently free in this body, but our thermometers, kind, good or bad in themselves, can not give us any idea of the direct

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amount of heat, or increases or decreases it undergoes. It is evident that this quantity and its variation with more or less depend on both the intensity and heat in a body and the amount of the body itself, which is subjected to the action of caloric force. By combining these two elements, one can arrive at a relative measure entirely correct and clear. This is done in physics, called unit of heat or calories, the amount of heat that must be added to one kilogram of water at 0 ° to raise the temperature 1 degree centigrade.

I think I should elaborate a bit more about the definition of the dynamic unity, whose use is much less familiar and whose meaning is also clearly very difficult to understand.

There are few words whose use is more common and whose meanings are more varied in appearance than the terms of Labour Force and it is little more that are often diverted from their true meaning, not only in language vulgar, but even in that of many men of science, too little attention to the huge inconvenience caused a vicious use of certain terms. Without dwelling unduly on those meanings or vicious to those jobs, I say once that mechanical force all known causes of motion of ponderable matter or body. I will not try for now, though, as most schools admit materialists, the motion can only arise from the movement if when we see, for example, a body falling to the surface of the earth with a speed of More and more, he is driven by our knowledge of material molecules endowed with very high speeds and through space in all directions, or if, as I tried to demonstrate in most of my work, the not exist, however, in nature, special principles completely separate matter, and able to take it from the rest or get him back. I will return, as appropriate, on this great and beautiful question.

All things being equal, the speed acquired by a material body subject to the influence of a force, depends on time and intensity of that force, and space that the body runs under it. 11 is clear from this that the product of the distance covered and the intensity of the force accurately represents the amount of action developed or expended by the directive. This product is called the mechanical work. The digital conversion of the expense of action is very simple mechanics. Just as a force may be used to set in motion a free body as well, and it is even more often, it can be used to overcome another force.

For example, while our guns, the expansive force of gases, which is none other than the heat, is used to give impetus to increasing the projectile on the contrary, when with a machine steam, we lift some burden, the expansive force of steam or heat, is used to overcome the action of gravity or the gravitational force on the body. The product of the height at which a high burden, and weight of this burden, here becomes the very clear expression of the work or the quantity of action developed in the machine by the caloric force. It is a product of this species being converted now universally the expense of mechanical action of all possible forces. It was taken as unit weight per kilogram and the meter unit height, and called kilogrammetre the amount of action he must spend, using any force whatsoever to raise a meter tall weighing 1 kilogram. in a second time.

When, for example, we say a steam engine, a hydraulic motor has a force of 10,000-pounds, this means that beyond using power generated and used without loss, we could raise in one second one meter in height weighing 10,000 kilograms. 10000 meters or weighing 1 kilogram. So again, when we say that a horse can provide a working 75-pounds, this means that the motive power of the animal, used without loss, may raise per second to 1 meter tall weighing 75 kilograms. It is often taken as the unit of horse power and expressed, and it is said that a steam engine has a power of 100 horsepower, when it is able to provide work of a hundred times 75-pounds per second.

If I explained myself clearly and not too tiring the reader's attention, several thoughts will already spontaneously offered to his mind. We have noticed how these definitions in the sciences are different from those merely the general public, when he uses the same words, and how they reduce the terms to their original meaning. Force, in effect, means engine power, a principle of action, whether of physical or faculties of our soul work means spending of action for some time, whether as of a physical phenomenon or a function of our thought. That is the sense that these mechanics are two terms often so vague in ordinary language.

We see how many people incorrectly thought are what we call the power of an engine. When they hear about a steam engine, a water wheel of twenty horses for example, it contained only twenty horses harnessed together and acting both are driven by the engine. They thus confuse the effort exerted at a given time, and assumes no minimum time, with the mechanical work, which involves the idea of time. Archimedes said that with a lever and a fulcrum long enough, that it would raise the earth, he probably thought to have multiplied almost indefinitely the power of man, in reality, unconsciously perhaps He has made us very small. Lift the land means, in effect, use the engine working at our disposal, to raise to a height equal weight to that of Earth. But really, how long would it take a very vigorous man, working day and night, without rest, to lift such a weight to one millimeter in height? 11 would need two million of millions of centuries! Archimedes indeed, although we were humiliated.

The effort that we can leverage to multiply indefinitely and work due to this effort, when he reflects on the move and mingle too often still in many minds otherwise very intelligent; this mistake gave rise to a disease that is incurable, when not cut it at its birth: it is that the search for perpetual motion or production of a work without equal spending power.

I have just defined two kinds of measurement units that appear to have absolutely nothing in common: the unit of heat, the unit of mechanical work. Yet between them that the mechanical theory has come to draw a line of union now indestructible.

A body that is heated it expands, or increases in volume, a body that is cooled contracts or shrinks. By increasing volume, the body is able to overcome external resistors larger or smaller, often huge, that tries to oppose it. Thus water, which we submit to an increasing heat in a closed vessel, finally broke the walls thicker, if we do end steam happens if we do not allow the volume of s increase. Thus the water that we boil Open Cup takes a volume nearly ten seven hundred times bigger, in fact, overcoming, ever, atmospheric pressure, a simple calculation tells us that a kilogram. water we évaporons well, actually raises to seventeen meters in height the enormous weight of one thousand kilograms.

The powder that we fired-in a firearm is in fact something other than a very large body heat comes suddenly dilate: the tendency to increase the pressure exerted on the body and the heated projectile is such that it, on a trip of just one meter, often receives a speed of 800-1200 meters per second.

Heat, in a word, is a force, and in this capacity it acts in all nature, and that we use in our engines. We can already see that these two units I defined above, are not so foreign to each other that we thought at first; amount of heat that is to say how much force in action in a phenomenon much work, that is to say amount of action produced by this force, these are elements which, far from not knowing each other, all must have a mathematical connection.

The general principle according to which all run our engines to heat without exception is very clear and simple. Any body, water, ether, chloroform, air, gas in general, are subject to alternative expansion and contraction of volume. During the period of expansion, the body exerts a force and pushed forward a piston that moves in a casing, which, using suitable mechanical parts, we provide outside the amount of effort, work it receives. During the period of contraction, the piston become free again returns to its original position.

In our steamers, for example, water, subject to

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the action of heat in the boiler, it reduces vapor, that is to say, it actually expands, so take a volume several hundred times greater, as it formed, the steam will push forward or back the piston engine. Each time the piston reaches the end of its stroke, the steam that had pushed is placed in communication with a cold and empty space where it condenses and precipitates, the piston can become free and back in action new steam acting on its opposite side.

Expansion and contraction of an alternative body, this is the cause somehow palpable movement of any heat engine. Addition and subtraction alternative heat, this is the real cause, but absolutely untouchable, these volume changes and movements. Such an engine requires, therefore, not only the existence of a heat source to expand the body, but also a source of cold to remove the body, at first dilated, which had thus expanded, and returning it to its original state.

One of the most crucial question arises here naturally to mind. The body on which we act warmth he brings to the cold source that receives all the heat source of heat? In other words, more precise, suppose that we measure all the heat supplied to water boiling in a steam boiler and also that we measure all the heat that we find in the condenser of the machine, taking of also account for passive losses: there he equality between the amount originally given, then found?

Before 1842, there are therefore twenty years ago, physicists all without exception had responded by affirming, all would have said without hesitation: yes, there is equality between the amounts spent and recovered heat, the heat can only disperse more or less in different bodies, so as to keep them at temperatures higher or lower, but it is impossible that it ceases to be heat.

Today, however, there is a single physicist who could still respond well.

Whenever the action of heat on a body produces a mechanical work, it disappears heat strictly proportional to the work product. Conversely, whenever a mechanical work is used to alter the state of internal equilibrium of a body, it develops a heat strictly proportional to the work expended. Between work and produced or consumed and the heat produced or consumed and there is a report immutable, which is what is called the mechanical equivalent of heat.

This is the great principle laid down for the first time by Dr. Mayer, that is the fundamental proposition on which rests the whole edifice of the mechanical theory of heat.

In all engine heat, the heat transfers more heat to the body on which it acts, the source of cold fact is this body back to its original volume, and the difference of these two quantities of heat is precisely that which gives us the work of the machine. Each unit of heat expended is thus translated for us by four hundred twenty-five kilogram units of work or products. This is the numerical value of the mechanical equivalent.

Everyone knows that the friction, the shocks, the compression of the body develop heat Well! the amount of heat produced does not depend on the particular nature of each body, but exclusively to the work consumed. Whenever he has made an expenditure of 425-pounds of work, he develops a unit of heat, a calorie.

I pointed out that in our arms fire, the heat that, by dilating suddenly the constituents of the powder, is the motive cause of the ball. But while it travels more quickly into the room, the gases produced by inftammation cool: there operates a heat consumption is strictly proportional to the work that represents the speed of the ball to each moment. Say it with any initial velocity, go hit a block and still strong enough, a rock, for example, at the very moment of impact, it will get hot, and heat that it will develop as a result of the loss of his movement, will be exactly equal to that which had disappeared in the powder gas to produce this movement.

It is easy to understand what changes the root principle of Mayer had to bring in all our physical sciences, and what enormous progress made there.

Many phenomena, which seemed to have nothing in common between them, and whose study seemed to be pusieurs different sciences have been reduced to mere questions of static or dynamic, fully addressed by mathematical analysis. A very small number of well-chosen examples will be immediately grasping the magnitude of the progress already, or to do very soon again.

The resistance of solids to break the cohesion is due to the mutual attraction of all the physical parts that constitute the body. To stretch, to bend an iron bar, he must overcome this attraction with an effort, he must, in a word. spend at work. But when the heat expands a body, it is also obvious that she overcomes these attractions, it operates in a word, as work: Some of this heat is used in this work. It follows directly from that statement is so simple that when we expose any body heat, a portion of heat it receives is used to overcome the internal forces, this part does not change the temperature of the body, another part, otherwise, only serves to raise the temperature. So if we can recognize that in the heating of a body belongs to the first and second of these parts, we can calculate the work done by internal heat, and therefore also the intensity of attraction of atoms to each other.

This attractive force has a very high value in solids very resistant, it is conceivable that very easily, but what we might surprise is learning that it is far from be zero in the vapors in gases, which, however, the parties seem to be repelled to infinity, and in liquids, water for example, the intensity of this force is colossal. If we assume A0 ° water contained in a vessel it fills completely inelastic, and if we assume that the work of internal forces of attraction be suspended for leaving only the repulsive force of heat, the liquid will exert on the walls of the vase and on each square meter of the enormous pressure of five hundred million pounds. So that pressure is really that caloric balance in a liquid which, however, the parties seem to take us some way to dens. It is this attraction, which for the most part, determines the enormous absorption of heat caused by boiling liquids.

Everyone knows that water is subject to constant pressure and reached its boiling point, temperature does not change, regardless of the amount of heat to be provided. All this heat is then added to separate the molecules used to overcome their attraction and the external pressure. When water boils at the open air, that is to say, under the ordinary atmospheric pressure, forty calories alone are employed in external work and four hundred ninety-six are to overcome the internal attraction. The old physics called latent heat and the heat absorbed by the liquid without changing temperature. In reality, there is nothing of latent here in one kilogram of steam at one hundred degrees and one atmosphere of pressure, there is no more heat than one kilogram of water 100 °, although it must be the enormous sum of 536 calories to evaporate the water. It has at all times that the evaporation of water determines the cooling of the liquid: the correct explanation of the phenomenon is rather quite recent.

This is the beautiful result which today leads the mechanical theory of heat, weigh the attraction of two atoms, such as astronomy weighs the attraction of two globes of the firmament.

But there is one more step to do, and already the road is open. The force that brings together in a homogeneous and resistant atoms of an element is obviously not the same as that between two, three, four different atoms in a molecule composed. In other words, the molecular attraction, the cause of cohesion, can be confused in its effects with chemical affinity. Well in this sense, the study of heat Severe already allows us to certain bodies, to distinguish what belongs to one or other of these forces, and consequently reduce to numbers, to express in kilograms energy force that unites two chemical elements in a homogeneous compound. Without a doubt, by a few years, the chemistry, which seemed a science of facts and memory will be affordable to the mathematical analysis.

The sound, whether a simple noise or the most harmonious chord sequence, the sound result, we know, a

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state of oscillation of the internal parts of elastic bodies and if we could see the internal movement of air, for example, which gives us a continuous, we should see the fluid divided into mobile units, in waves, sound waves, such that these parties, even slices, approach and depart from each other alternately. But to compress an elastic body to reduce its volume, it must spend at work, and consequently the body heats up. If, because of its elasticity, the body is instead a larger volume, it provides employment and hence cools. The wave is compressed to a higher temperature, and the rarefied wave is a lower temperature than the body where the sound propagates. This alternative heating and cooling changes the elasticity of body sound, and therefore alter the level occupied by the sound in the range and velocity.

And we do not think it is a minimal impact and negligible Newton, by calculation, set the speed of sound in air at 288 meters; Laplace, taking into account the heat and cold produced by the compression and rarefaction, set this speed to 340 meters: the number actually found by direct experience. The speed of sound in air one can deduce the value of the mechanical equivalent of heat, and add that the calculated value is consistent with a nearly four-hundredth Joust with that and I have found directly. That is the sound itself linked to the mechanical theory of heat.

We see how closely related the grand principle of Dr. Mayer came to establish between our various sciences. And we do not think this relationship is merely subjective or relative to our way of classifying. It is objective, that is to say that it concerns the very subjects of our science, natural phenomena and their causes. The principle of Mayer, in fact, concerns not only the calories, but all the forces of nature, electricity, light, magnetism, gravity, etc.. If, in any phenomenon, it occurs, for example, electricity, we are perfectly sure it is spent or light, or heat, or mechanical work, the equivalent amount.

In short, all the forces of nature can replace each other, there are quantitative equivalence between the point of view of the effects. But I do not want to tire the longer the reader's attention by quotations from the physical world, I go immediately into the field of organic life and I look with the attention that it deserves a wide class of phenomena of interest physiologist, physician, naturalist.


Application of the mechanical theory of heat engines anime. - Sources of vital heat. - Similarity of the body of living beings with our engines. - Positive and negative work to be alive. - The first proposal of the mechanical theory applies to these beings as all our engines. - Details on the physiological functions of animated motors. - In what parts of the body heat that is consumed labor costs, etc..

The bodies of all living things, plants, cold-blooded or warm blooded, is a source of heat, a fire going. If the heat that it is constantly developing student does not continue indefinitely with temperature, because the external heat losses are equal to the amount of heat produced internally, and are also regulated by the organism itself Similarly, so that the temperature remains constant at each being a half a degree, despite variations in temperature of their physical surroundings to be organized.

We talked for centuries about the origin of heat called vital. Aristotle, scholars cite the environment when there is a man of modern science to depreciate, Aristotle thought that heat is created by the vital force itself, and the respiratory organs, in higher animals, is used to continually refresh the body, preventing it from being consumed by the excess heat produced.

We'll see how the mechanical theory enters this issue, first as a critic, and then as affirmative. Nihil ex nihilo nihil in Nihilum. Nothing can come of nothing, nothing that has been being can go into nothingness.

Life, whatever its nature, moreover, can not create anything with no ponderable or imponderable elements that constitute the body of a living being, she can only use the elements it finds in the physical world. The heat continuously produced in the body of living beings, and in great quantities in the warm-blooded animals, can be due only to assume that new combinations in the organism itself, the physical elements which are not continually introduced.

I say purposely exclusively. Several physiologists Indeed, without adopting the whole of the ideas of Aristotle, had adopted and amended at least one party. "The friction of blood in the veins and arteries, rubbing the muscles etc.. etc.. must, they say, produce heat, and therefore add to that developed chemical reactions. "And as for the first part of the assertion, they are perfectly right. But the mechanical theory refutes completely the final conclusion. These frictions, these mechanical actions of all kinds generate heat, said that theory, but the movements that gave rise, the blood, the muscles, etc.., Costing themselves from heat and rigoureusementégales quantities, the total amount of heat produced in the body is not so amended. We shall soon see that this assertion has been verified experimentally and the most triumphant.

Among the chemical reactions that can develop heat in the living being, the most important, one that predominates all others, is that resulting from the absorption of oxygen from the air and its combination with the elements fuel supplied by food. Breathing, in short, is the main cause, if not unique, the production of vital heat. This was established beyond doubt, first, in the experiments of Lavoisier, Laplace, and then those of Dulong and Regnault, on animals of different species, and then finally my experiments on humans.

In experiments four physicists and chemists that I mentioned above, the animal was enclosed in a calorimeter or apparatus suitable for measuring the total amount of heat produced in a given time, he was sent through a tube the air required the respiration were analyzed air coming out of the device. From the weight of carbonic acid found in the outgoing air, we calculated the amount of carbon burned, the weight of oxygen combined in this carbonic acid was subtracted from that wanted to air this deficit allowed calculate the amount of hydrogen burned off, making the total amount of heat represented by these two elements are burned, they had the amount of total heat available in the body. This quantity, in the tests of Dulong and Regnault, was found so close to that indicated by direct calorimeter, that doubt is no longer allowed on the fundamental role of breathing.

My experiments on humans highlight something more remarkable: that, from one individual to another, the ratio of various fuel elements combine with oxygen is the same. The consequence is that the heat developed at every moment in our body is always strictly proportional to the weight of oxygen absorbed in a given time. I have, in effect, subject to the experience of both sexes, different ages, different temperaments, one among others, was suffering from a high lung catarrh, I submitted myself experience during a strong period of fever. The amount of oxygen absorbed per hour and, consequently, the amount of heat generated per hour, varied considerably from one person to another, but in all, each gram of oxygen consumed produced very nearly 5 calories, that is to say five times what it takes heat to raise the temperature of 1 ° of i kil. water to zero. I shall return later to some very curious details, as a matter of physiology.

All I have to say about the production of vital heat, refers exclusively to the living being in a state of rest.

Two major divisions are introduced, so to speak ellesmêmes in the study of organized beings. Among these people, some, in fact, are fixed in a more or less absolute, instead of their birth: they are forced to wait until the elements necessary for their existence and their development to reach them: it are plants. The others are endowed with mobility, they can go and take the necessary elements to their existence: they are animals. But the move and raise their own body weight, drag, carry, raise a weight, an additional burden, is provide what

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1. Hirn, Gustave. (1868).Metaphysical and Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics: A Fundamental Analysis of the Universe (Métaphysique et conséquences philosophiques de la thermodynamique: l'analyse fondamentale de l'univers). Paris: Gauthier-Villars.
2. Donkin, Bryan. (1893). “The Scientific Work of Gustav Adolph Hirn in 7 Chapters (1845-1888)” (pgs. 145-201); Picture of Hirn, (pg. 144); Chapter V: Human thermodynamics, pg. 176-83)”, Transactions of the Manchester Association of Engineers (table of contents: human thermo-dynamics, pg. 176). Herald & Walker Printers.

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