# User:LGreg/sandbox/Approaches to Knowledge (LG seminar 2020/21)/Seminar 18/Power/Power in Physics

## Origins of Power in Physics

James Watt invented the scientific concept of power in around 1770. In the International System of Units (SI), the watt (W), which is the unit of power, is formally recognised as one joule per second, and was named after James Watt himself.[1] Since this quantified power as the rate at which energy is expended, it resolves nicely with other approaches towards power such as the power one might have in hitting a ball.

Watt too adopted the term horsepower in the late 18th century to compare the power of a horse with the output of steam engines. [2]

## Interpretation of Power in Physics

In physics power is the time derivative of work; where work is the energy transferred to or from an object via the application of force along a displacement. [3]

Thus, power is also defined as the product of the force and the velocity vectors. In rotational systems, power is the product of torque times velocity. In fluid mechanics, power is equal to the product of pressure times the volumetric flow rate. [4]

## Power Structures in the Study of Physics

Physics is a traditionally male dominated science. [5] By this, we would traditionally mean that the most famous figures would be names such as Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, James Clerk Maxwell, James Ernest Rutherford, Marie Curie, Michael Faraday, Richard Feynman, Paul Dirac, Erwin Schrodinger, Werner Heisenberg, Stephen Hawking and more. The Nobel Prize for Physics has been handed out 215 times by 2020, of which only 4 awards were to women[6]. No black person has ever won the Nobel Prize for Physics. [7]

Gender gaps in physics are amongst the highest in science, with Women in STEM fields being a minority. [8].

Explanations for low representations of women and people of colour in physics can be attributed to several societal power structures; systematic discrimination[9], intrinsic bias[10], harassment[11], lack of role models[12] and psychological limitations[13] due to these pre-established structures.

## References

1. "Societies and Academies". Nature. 66 (1700): 118–120. 1902. doi:10.1038/066118b0. If the watt is assumed as unit of activity…
2. "The miner's friend". Rochester history department website. Archived from the original on May 11, 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
3. Fowle, Frederick E., ed. (1921). Smithsonian Physical Tables (7th revised ed.). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. OCLC 1142734534. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Power or Activity is the time rate of doing work, or if W represents work and P power, P = dw/dt. (p. xxviii) … ACTIVITY. Power or rate of doing work; unit, the watt. (p. 435)
4. Heron, C. A. (1906). "Electrical Calculations for Rallway Motors". Purdue Eng. Rev. (2): 77–93. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020. The activity of a motor is the work done per second, … Where the joule is employed as the unit of work, the international unit of activity is the joule-per-second, or, as it is commonly called, the watt. (p. 78)
5. "All Nobel Prizes in Physics". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
6. "The Nobel Foundation – History". Nobelprize.org. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved 2015-05-03.
7. "Women Nobel Laureates". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
8. Gürer, Denise and Camp, Tracy (2001). Investigating the Incredible Shrinking Pipeline for Women in Computer Science. Final Report – NSF Project 9812016. Archived 2011-09-02 at the Wayback Machine
9. Schiebinger, Londa (1999). "Has Feminism Changed Science?". Signs. Harvard University Press. 25 (4): 1171–5. doi:10.1086/495540. PMID 17089478
10. Kerr, N.L.; Hymes, R.W.; Anderson, A.B.; Weathers, J.E. (1995). "Defendant-juror similarity and mock juror judgments". Law and Human Behavior. 19 (6): 545–567. doi:10.1007/bf01499374. hdl:2027.42/45313. S2CID 143678468.
11. Schiebinger, Londa (1999). "Has Feminism Changed Science?". Signs. Harvard University Press. 25 (4): 1171–5. doi:10.1086/495540. PMID 17089478.
12. Pell, A N (1996). "Fixing the leaky pipeline: women scientists in academia" (PDF). Journal of Animal Science. 74 (11): 2843–8. doi:10.2527/1996.74112843x. ISSN 0021-8812. PMID 8923199. S2CID 3087722.
13. Preston, Anne Elizabeth (2004). Leaving science : occupational exit from scientific careers. Russell Sage Foundation. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. ISBN 0-87154-694-9. LCCN 2003065968. OCLC 53814057. OL 8348363M.