Transformation content

In thermodynamics, transformation content or transformation content of a body was a more descriptive precursor name or synonym for entropy used by German physicist Rudolf Clausius in 1865. [1] Specifically, in his April 24th introduction of the now-famous name entropy, he states: [2]

“We might call S the transformational content of the body, just as we termed the magnitude U its thermal content and ergonal content. But as I hold it to be better to borrow terms for important magnitudes from the ancient languages, so that they may be adopted unchanged in all modern languages, I propose to call the magnitude S the entropy of the body, from the Greek word τροπή, transformation.”

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Curiously, Clausius does not use the phrase “transformational content” in the 1875 second edition of his The Mechanical Theory of Heat. English science historian Donald Cardwell argues that “these correspond to Clausius’ idea of the equivalence value of the thermal content and the disgregation together constituting the transformational content, or entropy of the body.” [3]

See also
Transformation content energy

1. Hokikian, Jack. (2002). The Science of Disorder: Understanding the Complexity, Uncertainty, and Pollution in Our World (pg. 27). Los Feliz Publishing.
2. (a) Read at the Philosophical Society of Zurich on the 24th of April, 1865, published in the Vierteljahrsschrift of this society, Bd. x. S. 1.; Pogg. Ann. July, 1865, Bd. cxxv. S. 353; Journ. de Liouville, 2e ser. t. x. p. 361.
(b) Clausius, R. (1865). The Mechanical Theory of Heat – with its Applications to the Steam Engine and to Physical Properties of Bodies (pg. 357-58) (Ninth Memoir). London: John van Voorst, 1 Paternoster Row. MDCCCLXVII.
3. Cardwell, Donald S.L. (1971). From Watt to Clausius: the Rise of Thermodynamics in the Early Industrial Age (pg. 275). Cornell University Press.

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