Historical Roots and Development of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

  • Jaroslav ŠestákEmail author
  • Pavel Hubík
  • Jiří J. Mareš
Part of the Hot Topics in Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry book series (HTTC, volume 8)


Apparently, the first person which used a thought experiment of continuous heating and cooling of an illustrative body was curiously the Czech thinker and Bohemian educator [1], latter refugee Johann Amos Comenius (Jan Amos Komenský, 1592–1670) when trying to envisage the properties of substances. In his “Physicae Synopsis”, which he finished in 1629 and published first in Leipzig in 1633, he showed the importance of hotness and coldness in all natural processes. Heat (or better fire) is considered as the cause of all motions of things. The expansion of substances and the increasing the space they occupy is caused by their dilution with heat. By the influence of cold the substance gains in density and shrinks: the condensation of vapor to liquid water is given as an example. Comenius also determined, though very inaccurately, the volume increase in the gas phase caused by the evaporation of a unit volume of liquid water. In Amsterdam in 1659 he published a focal but rather unfamiliar treatise on the principles of heat and cold [2], which was probably inspired by the works of the Italian philosopher Bernardino Telesius. The third chapter of this Comenius’ book was devoted to the description of the influence of temperature changes on the properties of substances.


Differential Thermal Analysis Differential Scanning Calorimeter Heat Engine Motive Power Adiabatic Calorimeter 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaroslav Šesták
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pavel Hubík
    • 2
  • Jiří J. Mareš
    • 2
  1. 1.New Technologies Research CentreUniversity of West BohemiaPlzeňCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Physics ASCR, v.v.i.Praha 6Czech Republic

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