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Mar7-12, 09:07 PM
jtbell's Avatar
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Quote Quote by Nano-Passion View Post
So physicists sat down and thought of it [work] conceptually? I want to see how it actually came to life. Is there any proofs, any scientific papers or writings behind the concept when it first started?
That sort of thing just isn't taught in "straight" physics courses. You'll have to look for books and papers about the history of science. For example, there's Rene Dugas's "History of Mechanics" which I have in my office so I can't lay hands on it right now, but you can view pages on Google Books:

On page 128, he mentions Solomon of Caux, who published a book in the early 1600s. "It is to this author that we owe the term work in the sense that it is used now." From the book's title, it appears to have been about the design of various types of machines, so I speculate that the notion of work as force times distance originated with the use of levers and other simple machines, which "convert" a small force acting over a large distance to a large force acting over a small distance.