# I Who wrote the law: Wc = - delta U ?

1. Nov 13, 2016

### Joseph M. Zias

My history of physics is all too rusty. Who first wrote that the work done by a conservative force is the negative of the change in potential energy? Was he/she also the one who first presented the equation?

2. Nov 14, 2016

### Simon Bridge

Technically that should be $\vec F = -\vec\nabla U$
The potential function was introduced, in relation to force, by Lagrange, in his study of gravitational attraction but did not get popular until it was used by Coulomb for studying electrostatics and emerged as a physical thingy with the discovery of the conservation of energy.

3. Nov 22, 2016

Thank You.