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Materials - Mechanics | A History of the Work Concept - From Physics to Economics

A History of the Work Concept

From Physics to Economics

Oliveira, Agamenon

2014, XXIII, 239 p. 40 illus.

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  • Unique topic on which not much has been published in monograph form
  • Treats Lagrangian and Laplacian mechanics in historical context
  • Of special interest to those studying Lazare Carnot
This  book traces the history of the concept of work from its earliest stages and shows that its further formalization leads to equilibrium principle and to the principle of virtual works, and so pointing the way ahead for future research and applications.
The idea that something remains constant in a machine operation is very old and has been expressed by many mathematicians and philosophers such as, for instance, Aristotle. Thus,  a concept of energy developed. Another important  idea in machine operation is Archimedes' lever principle.
In modern times the concept of work is analyzed in the context of applied mechanics mainly in Lazare Carnot mechanics and the mechanics of the new generation of polytechnical engineers like Navier, Coriolis and Poncelet. In this context the word "work" is finally adopted. These engineers are also responsible for the incorporation of the concept of work into the discipline of economics when they endeavoured to combine the study  of the work of machines and men together.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Carnot - History of Engineering - History of Mechanics - History of applied mechanics - Work and energy - Work economics

Related subjects » Classical Continuum Physics - History of Mathematical Sciences - Mechanics

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