Tuesday, 25 November 2014
This lesser celebrated physician was overlooked by physicists for his path-braking THERMODYNAMICS & OXIDATION!!!
Julius Robert von Mayer (November 25, 1814 – March 20, 1878) was a German physician and physicist and one of the founders of thermodynamics. He is best known for enunciating in 1841 one of the original statements of the conservation of energy or what is now known as one of the first versions of the first law of thermodynamics, namely that "energy can be neither created nor destroyed".
In 1842, Mayer described the vital chemical process now referred to as oxidation as the primary source of energy for any living creature. His achievements were overlooked and priority for the discovery of the mechanical equivalent of heat was attributed to James Joule in the following year. He also proposed that plants convert light into chemical energy.
Although he had hardly been interested before this journey in physical phenomena, his observation that storm-whipped waves are warmer than the calm sea started him thinking about the physical laws, in particular about the physical phenomenon of warmth and the question: whether the directly developed heat alone or whether the sum of the amounts of heat developed in direct and indirect ways contributes to the temperature. After his return in February 1841 Mayer dedicated his efforts to solve this problem. Read more & watch the video...