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James Prescott Joule (18181889), Scotland. James Prescott Joule was one of five children in the family of a well-to-do brewery owner. Since he was a sickly child with a spinal deformity, both he and his brother were educated at home until the age of 15 and later by private tutors. The famous English chemist, John Dalton, taught them chemistry, physics, and the methods of scientific experimentation.

Later in life Joule acknowledged that John Dalton encouraged him to increase his knowledge of science and of original research. When James father died, he and his brother ran the brewery, which prevented him from attending a university. However, this did not deter him from setting

up a laboratory in his home and continuing his interest in science after his day at the brewery. He became proficient in mathematics and learned how to make accurate measurements in the brewery. His home experiments resulted in his ability to measure slight increases in temperature under various conditions, which led to his theory for the equivalence of work and heat energy. The unit of work and energy was named after him (the Joule, or the symbol J) Now, with his law JouleS law Joules law states that: The relationship for heat produced by an electric current in a conductor is related to the resistance of the conductor times the square of the amount of current applied: H = R I By experimentation, James Joule established the law that states that when a current of voltaic electricity is sent through a metal or other type of conductor, the heat given off over a specific time period is proportional to the resistance of the conductor multiplied bythe square of the electric current. The equation for this law is: , where H is the rate of the heat given off as watts in joule units, R is the resistance in the conductor in ohms and I is the amount of the current (amps) squared.

The application of this law is important in all

industries using electricity as a source of energy. The resistance to an electric current flowing through a conductor is analogous to the friction of air, the movement of engine parts, and tires on the road for a moving car. The electrical, as well as mechanical, energy is not just lost, rather it is converted to heat, just as is friction. Joule was interested in improving the mechanical advantage of electric motors, but because they were very primitive during his lifetime, he devoted more of his work to improving the efficiency of steam engines. He accurately predicted that electric motors eventually would replace most other types of mechanical devices. : : A fixed amount of mechanical work (expenditure of energy) ends up in a fixed quantity of heat. An interesing story Earlier in 1798 when Count Rumford was boring out the brass barrels of cannons, he noticed that large amounts of heat were generated. It became obvious that friction generated by the work of turning the bit in the metal resulted in heat. Julius von Mayer also was interested in this relationship and developed a figure for the mechanical equivalent of heat that was not very accurate. James Prescott Joule was the first to consider heat as a form of energy in his calculation.

He conducted exacting experiments to determine the amount of heat generated not just by electricity but also by mechanical work. Joule calculated the amount of mechanical work needed to produce an equivalent amount of heat. He demonstrated that 41 million ergs of work produced 1 calorie of heat, which is now known as the mechanical equivalent of heat. Since 10 million ergs are equal to 1 joule, named after James Joule, 4.18 joules are then equal to 1 calorie of heat. Joules work enabled others to perfect the law for the conservation of energy, which states that energy, like mass, cannot be created or destroyed but can be changed from one form to another. I hope that this post was useful. Powered by Blogger.

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