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Mechanical equivalent of heat

(Physics) originally defined as the number of units of work which the unit of heat can perform, equivalent to the mechanical energy which must be expended to raise the temperature of a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit; later this value was defined as one British thermal unit (B.t.u). Its value was found by Joule to be 772 foot pounds; later measurements give the value as 777.65 foot-pounds, equivalent to 107.5 kg-meters. This value was originally called Joule's equivalent, but the modern Joule is defined differently, being 107 ergs. The B.t.u. is now given as 1,054.35 absolute Joules, and therefore 1 calorie (the amount of heat needed to raise one gram of water one degree centigrade) is equivalent to 4.186 Joules.
See under Equivalent.

See also: Equivalent Heat

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