NOTES AND DISCUSSIONS Joaquın Moreno Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Integrative and Systems Biology, University of Valencia, c/ Dr. Moliner 50, Burjassot (Valencia) E-46100, Spain (Received 19 April 2017; accepted 9 December 2017) https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5019022 excess heat must match exactly the elastic energy of the I. INTRODUCTION spring, so that total energy is conserved. In 1845, James Prescott Joule published his celebrated To understand this we should realize that disturbing a metal experiment that established the mechanical equivalent of spring from its relaxed position—by shortening or extending heat. He connected the falling of a weight to the rotation of it—means to force interatomic distance out of its potential paddles inside a water container, and measured the increase energy minimum (Fig. 1). Thus, the work done at compress- of temperature of the stirred water. Thereby he found a direct ing the spring is stored at the atomic level as increased poten- relation between the loss of potential energy by the descend- tial energy of the metallic bonds. Because the heat released in ing weight and the heat transferred to the water. This result a chemical reaction is just the difference between products encouraged the contemplation of heat as
The American Journal of Physics – American Association of Physics Teachers
Published: Mar 19, 2018
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