Julius von Mayer

220px-Julius_Robert_Mayer_von_Friedrich_BerrerJulius Robert von Mayer (German; November 25, 1814 – March 20, 1878) Physician and physicist and one of the founders of thermodynamics. He is best known for enunciating in 1841 one of the original statements of the conservation of energy or what is now known as one of the first versions of the first law of thermodynamics, namely that “energy can be neither created nor destroyed.” In 1842, Mayer described the vital chemical process now referred to as oxidation as the primary source of energy for any living creature. His achievements were overlooked and priority for the discovery of the mechanical equivalent of heat was attributed to James Joule in the following year. He also proposed that plants convert light into chemical energy. Read more…

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