unit of electrical energy, 1882, coined in recognition of British physicist James P. Joule (1818-1889). The surname is a variant of Joel. Related: Joulemeter.
Entries linking to joule
The personal name that became common in Devon and Cornwall and the Breton districts of Yorkshire and the Eastern Counties immediately after the Conquest is from Old Breton Iudhael, from Iud- "chief, lord" + hael "generous." It is the source of the modern British surname Joel, as well as Jewell, Joule, and Jolson.
unit of heat in physics, 1866, from French calorie, from Latin calor (genitive caloris) "heat," from PIE *kle-os-, suffixed form of root *kele- (1) "warm."
As a unit of energy, defined as "heat required to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius" (the small or gram calorie), but as a measure of the energy-producing value of food, "heat required to raise 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius" (the large calorie or kilocalorie). In part because of this confused definition, it was largely replaced 1950 in scientific use by the joule. Calorie-counting or -watching as a method of scientific weight-regulation is attested by 1908.
updated on February 11, 2016