Berlin: Druck und Verlag von G. Reimer. 1st Edition. Single Volume 1847 published in 1850. FIRST EDITION OF HELMHOLTZ’S FIRST FULLY COMPREHENSIVE STATEMENT OF THE FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS – that energy can be converted from one form to another with the interaction of heat, work and internal energy, but it cannot be created nor destroyed, under any circumstances. Two volume set 1845 volume, published in 1847 volume offered separately.
In 1845, in a paper on animal heat that predated this one by two years, Helmholtz made his first statement on his ‘conservation of force’; he would later note that his 1845 findings really belonged in the work offered here, his 1847 fully detailed statement (Garber, The Language of Physics, 293). Note that in a separate listing, we offer both the 1845 and 1847 volumes together; this listing, again, is for the 1847 comprehensive statement.
In the 1845 review paper on animal heat, Helmholtz noted that “‘if we substitute the motion theory of heat for the material theory of heat, we see heat as originating from mechanical force’” (Garber). From this, Helmholtz believed it followed that “chemical electrical, and mechanical force were equivalent; in the 1847 paper, he would present the experimental evidence that would demonstrate this (Garber).
“Throughout the 1840s Helmholtz educated himself in higher mathematics, initially to understand how to use mathematics in physiology… The closeness of his work in physiology and physics is illustrated in his work on conservation of force. The principle itself was actually stated in a review paper [the prior paper] on animal heat in 1845. After surveying work done by Davy and Lavoisier on the issue, he examined Leibig’s paper on the origins of animal heat” (Koenigsberger, Hermann von Helmholtz, 34). “The presupposition of vitalism, that there is an inexhaustible “vital force” that powers living bodies, had led some investigators to posit that there is an inexhaustible force, whether mechanical or not, that can power a machine indefinitely: a perpetual motion machine” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
“Stating that it was of interest to physics in general as much as physiology, Helmholtz asserted that the principle of the constancy of force-equivalence was already used as the foundation of mathematical theories. As examples he [here] cites Carnot’s and Clapyeron’s determination of the work contained in a given quantity of heat and Neumann’s theory of currents induced by moving magnets. Helmholtz took his principle of ‘conservation of force’ as empirically grounded and ‘theoretically stated and well known’.
“The material theory of heat was doomed” (Garber). Helmholtz “states without hesitation that the material theory of heat is no longer tenable, and that a kinetic theory must be substituted for it, since heat originates in mechanical forces, either directly by friction or indirectly from an electrical current produced by the motion of magnets. This conception of heat as a motion involves the conclusion that mechanical, electrical and chemical forces must always be the definite equivalent of one and the same energy, whatever the mode by which one force is transformed into another” (Koenigsberger). Item #919
CONDITION & DETAILS: Druck und Verlag von G. Reimer. 8vo. (9 x 5.75 inches; 225 x 144mm). Complete volume. Ex-libris bearing only a stamp on the front flyleaf and the rear of the title page; there is an old paper label on the spine (see photo). Bound in contemporary brown cloth over marbled paper boards with minor scuffing at the edges. Tightly and solidly bound. Minor age spotting to the preliminaries, otherwise clean and bright throughout. Very good condition.