Letter | Published:

The Virial in Thermodynamics

Naturevolume 18page142 (1878) | Download Citation



IN my letter on the Virial in NATURE, vol. xviii. p. 39, a line of the description of a force's “radiancy” (as it was there termed) with respect to a given point was accidentally omitted; and the definition should have been the product of the distance of its point of application from the given point or “focus”, and the resolved part of the force in the direction of that distance, the last and most important member of which product was unmentioned by some unintentional oversight in the description. It would also be wrong, in the dynamical equation of the virial, the vis viva and the radiancy of momentum of a system to range the vis viva and virial together (as I did in the letter) in the class of physical agents, bound therefore by known laws of conservation, since either their joint or their separate effects in changing the system's total radiancy of momentum are easily seen, if we suppose one of them, for example, the vis viva, to act alone, to be totally unfettered, and therefore their actions to be of a measurable kind, but not subject, like that of natural agents, to any known laws of physical connection.

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