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In the pursuit of Scala Graduum Caloris

  1. Aug 28, 2013 #1
    In the pursuit of "Scala Graduum Caloris"

    Hello dear members of the forum!

    I would like to ask for your help! I'm doing a science project for which I need Isaac Newton's research paper on The Law of Cooling. As I understand the topic is covered in his paper "Scala Graduum Caloris" which obviously is in Latin. I have been digging through the web but could not manage to find a translated version of this paper. Alternatively, I have heard that prof. Crichton Mitchell in 1887 reviewed this paper to point out some misunderstandings, again, I couldn't find a paper on that (there was possibly something in one of the reviews I found but that costs $45 which is much too much for me).

    P.S. If this could be of any help then I have to point out that I am particularly interested in finding out what exactly did Newton say about the requirements for his law to be true because I have found non-referenced citations that mostly it has been misunderstood and that actually Newton pointed out the requirement for the ambient environment to be actually a current of air (aka breeze) for his law to be true but most textbooks have missed out on that (wikipedia also).

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2013 #2


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    This http://digital.library.okstate.edu/oas/oas_pdf/v43/p198_202.pdf (the first hit from google!) implies Newton just assumed it was true, and used it to define a scale of temperature (which almost makes it true by definition).

    Bear in mind that there was nothing resembling modern thermodynamics until several hundred years after Newton - indeed Newton didn't have a clear concept of energy, and certainly not heat energy, so it's not surprising his ideas on this were a bit imprecise.

    Have you tried http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/newton ?
  4. Aug 28, 2013 #3
    Thank you, I've already had found these links but the first one doesn't really cut it but speaking of Newton's discoveries - I am not looking for imprecisions in Newton's work but actually looking for one quote I've found unreferenced which indicates that actually the scientific world has somehow omitted the full thought of his towards the law of cooling (they somehow skipped the part where he talked about the moving air current as a requirement) :)

    Edited: Oh, now I really have to thank you because I re-read the first paper and it had what I wanted all along!
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