Principle of the transmission of work

In physics, the principle of the transmission of work, or "work transmission principle", states that the movement of a material point defines work as the product of the component of force acting on a material point multiplied by the distance of space traveled by the point, i.e. that work equals force time distance:

W = Fd


The principle seems to have been first introduced explicitly in the 1829 by French physicist Gustave Coriolis in his Calculation of the Effect of Machines. [1] The result of Coriolis principle, wherein he gives a lengthy derivation using trigonometric force components and distance components, is that work equals force time distance.

He derives this assuming that a principle of the conservation of vis viva exists; in a sense, that kinetic energy can be transferred into work.

The following are related quotes:

“Every force tends to give motion to the body on which it acts; but it may be prevented from doing so by other opposing forces, so that equilibrium results, and the body remains at rest. In this case the force performs no work. But as soon as the body moves under the influence of the force, work is performed.”
— Rudolf Clausius (1875), “Mathematical Introduction

1. (a) Coriolis, Gustave. (1829). Calculation of the Effect of Machines, or Considerations on the Use of Engines and their Evaluation (Du Calcul de l'effet des Machines, ou Considérations sur l'emploi des Moteurs et sur Leur Evaluation). Paris: Carilian-Goeury, Libraire.
(b) Coriolis, Gustave. (1844). Treatise on the Mechanics of Solid Bodies and Calculation of the Effect on Machines (Traité de la Mécanique des Corps Solides et du Calcul de l'effet des Machines) (section: Principle of the Transmission of Work in the Movement of a Material Point, pgs. 35-40). 2nd. Ed. Paris.

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