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Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física

Print version ISSN 1806-1117On-line version ISSN 1806-9126


PIFER, Anderson  and  AURANI, Katya Margareth. The analytical theory of heat of Joseph Fourier: an analysis of the conceptual and epistemological foundations. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís. [online]. 2015, vol.37, n.1, 1603.  Epub Mar 30, 2015. ISSN 1806-1117.

In an environment ruled by the Newtonian paradigm, Fourier established his theory of heat propagation in solids focused on the same traditional conception from rational mechanics, which reduced the natural phenomena to the mathematical analysis. However, he challenged that principle by ignoring the hypotheses about the nature of heat and creating a physical model in which the laws of mechanics do not apply to the phenomena of heat. The most of the studies on Fourier’s works in the field of the history of sciences are based on mathematics, and a very few of them are on physics. This study aims to add that missing approach with an analysis of the conceptual and epistemological bases involved in the formulation of the Fourier’s theory of heat propagation; it also intends to show that his work emerged as a unique approach. About the area of the teaching of physics, the results here obtained can contribute to a clearer view of the nature of science through its procedures, scope, and limitations.

Keywords : Joseph Fourier; history of science; conduction of heat.

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