Donald Cardwell

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In existographies, Donald Cardwell (36 BE-43 AE) (1919-1998 ACM) (IQ:145|#961↑) (CR:52) (LH:5) (TL:57) was an English physicist and science historian, noted for his 1971 From Watt to Clausius, a top history of thermodynamics book, wherein he does some of the first historical deconstruction the connections between the May 1854 publication of Thomson and the Dec 1854 publication Clausius, in respect to the origin of the entropy formulation.


Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Caldwell:

“The student is usually introduced to the concepts of thermodynamics — the Carnot cycle, the principle of reversibility, the ‘idea of entropy’ — in a way which does some violence to credibility. After having been taught science in terms of the highly abstract systems of mechanics and optics, and a science of heat concerned with the exact measurements of such abstract quantities temperature and specific heat, he is suddenly asked to accept a mysterious and entirely unrealistic engine of an almost completely impracticable nature as a fundamental concept of science. The introduction of the idea of entropy is almost equally abrupt. How or why such a system of thought was invented is never explained: the student is asked to take it or leave it. The natural reaction on the part of all, but the most remarkably able on the one hand and the most gullible on the other, is, surely, to feel that if this represents scientific thought then it is something the student is entirely unfamiliar with; and this is a conviction that he may never lose.”
— Donald Cardwell (1971), From Watt to Clausius (pg. xiii) [1]

End matter


  1. Cardwell, Donald. (1971). From Watt to Clausius: the Rise of Thermodynamics in the Early Industrial Age (pgs. xiii). Cornell University Press.


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