Actual energy

In thermodynamics, actual energy is []

In 1853, Scottish physicist William Rankine, in his “On the General Law of Transformation of Energy”, defined actual energy as follows: [1]

“Actual [energy], or sensible energy, is a measure, transmissible, and transformable condition, whose presence causes a substance to tend to change its state in one or more respects. By the occurrence of such changes actual energy disappears, and is replaced by potential [energy] or latent energy; which is measured by the product of a change of state into the resistance against which that change is made. The vis viva of matter in motion, thermometric heat, radiant heat, light, chemical action, and electric currents, are forms of actual energy; amongst those of potential energy are the mechanical powers of gravitation, elasticity, chemical affinity, statical electricity, and magnetism.”

Rankine's term "actual energy", supposedly, is a near-synonym to the 1862 coined term kinetic energy.

1. Rankine, William. (1853). “On the General Law of Transformation of Energy”, Read before the Physical Society of Glasgow, Jan 05; in; Proceedings of the Physical Society of Glasgow, 3(5); in: Miscellaneous Scientific Papers (pgs. 203-). C. Griffin and Co., 1881.

TDics icon ns

More pages