Reference numberAP/27/5/1
TitleUnpublished manuscript, 'On the changes of temperature produced by rarefaction and condensation of air' by James Prescott Joule
Date6 June 1844
DescriptionJoule describes an apparatus where both the condensing pump and the receiver are immersed in a large quantity of water, the changes in the temperature of which are ascertained by a thermometer of extreme sensibility. By comparing the amount of force expended in condensing air in the receiver with the quantity of heat evolved, after deducting that which was the effect of friction, Joule finds that a mechanical force, capable of raising 823 pounds to the height of one foot, must be applied in the condensation of air, in order to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree of Fahrenheit’s scale. In another experiment, when air condensed in one vessel is allowed to pass into another vessel from which the air had been exhausted, both vessels being immersed in a large receiver full of water, no change of temperature takes place, no mechanical power having been developed. Joule considers these results as strongly corroborating the dynamical theory of the nature of heat, in opposition to that which ascribes to it materiality.

Includes six tables of experimental results and one page of figures.

Subject: Physics

Received 8 June 1844. Communicated by Peter Mark Roget.

Written by Joule at Oak Field, near Manchester [England].

Whilst the Royal Society declined to publish this paper in full, an abstract of the paper was published in volume 5 of Abstracts of the Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London [later Proceedings of the Royal Society] as 'On the changes of temperature produced by the rarefaction and condensation of air'.

A version of this paper was published by Joule in The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: Joule, J. P. Esq. 'On the changes of temperature produced by the rarefaction and condensation of air.' The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, volume 26, number 174 (1845), pp. 369-383.
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1080/14786444508645153
DOI: 10.1098/rspl.1843.0031
Fellows associated with this archive
NA7041Joule; James Prescott (1818 - 1889); physicist1818 - 1889
NA6616Roget; Peter Mark (1779 - 1869); physician and philologist1779 - 1869
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