Who was the first scientist to refute the caloric theory of heat?

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Count Rumford, also known as Benjamin Thompson, was the first scientist to refute the caloric theory of heat made popular by Antoine Lavoisier in the late 18th century. The theory held that heat was a weightless fluid that flowed from warmer to cooler objects, and that it was conserved. Substances...

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Count Rumford, also known as Benjamin Thompson, was the first scientist to refute the caloric theory of heat made popular by Antoine Lavoisier in the late 18th century. The theory held that heat was a weightless fluid that flowed from warmer to cooler objects, and that it was conserved. Substances contained a fixed amount of caloric and no heat remained in a substance once it all flowed out. 

Count Rumford challenged this idea in a paper he published in 1798. He suggested that heat was produced by the friction of moving objects, specifically, a moving bore on a cannon, and that an unlimited amount of heat could be produced by doing continuing work on a substance.

Count Rumford worked with military munitions, and he observed that the heat generated when drilling cannon bores wasn't limited in continuance. Heat could be produced by drilling continuously. He also showed that material that was drilled away wasn't altered in degree of specific heat. Rumford argued that the heat generated resulted from motion and not from the gain or loss of a caloric substance.

Although Rumford didn't conduct further research based on this idea, it inspired further study by others. It became the basis for the modern understanding of heat as a form of motion (as heat equivalent to work) and for the law of conservation of energy.

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