Negative work

In thermodynamics, negative work, in contrast with positive work, is work in which the component of the force acting on a body, producing the work, is in the opposite direction in which the motion of the body actually takes place, the calculation of which is defined mathematically according to the principle of the transmission of work. [1] Interestingly, French physicist Gustave Hirn, in his 1868 Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics, devotes a section to what he calls "positive and negative work to be alive". [2]

1. Clausius, Rudolf. (1875). The Mechanical Theory of Heat (positive and negative work, pg. 2) London: Macmillan & Co.
2. Hirn, Gustave. (1868). Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics (Métaphysique et conséquences philosophiques de la thermodynamique: l'analyse fondamentale de l'univers) (Metaphysics and Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics: Basic Analysis of the Universe). Paris: Gauthier-Villars.

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