American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A principle stating that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant regardless of changes within the system.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mech.) the principle that the total energy of any material system is a quantity which can neither be increased nor diminished by any action between the parts of the system, though it may be transformed into any of the forms of which energy is susceptible.
- n. the fundamental principle of physics that the total energy of an isolated system is constant despite internal changes
“The principle of the conservation of energy through ceaseless transformations, and the doctrine of evolution applied to all things and all phenomena, are readily interpreted by the pantheist in favour of his own system.”
“Silberer, whose work is endorsed by Freud, has gone to a considerable length in this direction; and the whole tendency of Freud's insistence on the relevancy, in the mental sphere, of the law of the conservation of energy has been a movement, though, I think, a narrow one, in this direction.”
“The great discovery by R. Mayer (1814-78), Joule (1818-89), and Helmholtz (1821-94) of the conservation of energy proves that energy cannot disappear in nature and cannot originate there.”
“The second line of argument advanced in favour of Parallelism is as follows: The principle of the conservation of energy supposes, we are told, that the universe is a closed mechanical system in which events, whether past or future, are calculable with the utmost precision, given the knowledge of any one stage in the development of that universe and the laws according to which that development takes place.”
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