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Single Idea 20973

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / D. Activity of Matter / 7. Conservation Laws]

Full Idea

Helmholtz crucially asserted that all forces conserve the sum of kinetic and potential energy; superficially non-conservative forces like friction are simply macroscopic manifestations of more fundamental forces conserving energy at the micro-level.

Gist of Idea

All forces conserve the sum of kinetic and potential energy

Source

report of Hermann von Helmholtz (On the Conservation of Force [1847]) by David Papineau - Thinking about Consciousness App 4.3

A Reaction

Friction had been a problem case, because it appeared not to conserve energy when it slowed movement down.

Book Reference

Papineau,David: 'Thinking about Consciousness' [OUP 2004], p.246