In 1862, William Thomson and Peter Tait, in their “Energy”, building of Thomas Young's 1807 term "energy", referring to a body with velocity, and William Rankine's 1853 term "actual energy", introduced the term “kinetic energy”, as follows:
- “We are led to measure the ‘kinetic energy’ by the square of the velocity with which a body moves.”
In c.1864, kinetic energy, with the additive ½ factor, came to be defined as:
The following are quotes:
- “The name kinetic energy, which I subsequently gave as seeming preferable to ‘actual energy’, has been generally adopted; but Rankine’s name ‘potential energy’ remains to this day, and is universally used to designate energy of the static kind.”
- (a) Thomson, William; Tait, Peter. (1862). “Energy”, Good Words (“kinetic energy”, 5+ pgs). Publisher.
(b) Smith, Crosbie; Wise, M. Norton. (1989). Energy and Empire: A Biographical Study of Lord Kelvin (pg. 378). Cambridge.
- Thomson, William. (1882). “On the Mechanical Values of Distributions of Electricity, Magnetism, and Galvanism”, Jul 18; in: Mathematical and Physical Papers, Volume One (pg. 523). Glasgow.
- Kinetic energy – Hmolpedia 2020.