The Calorie Discovered, Quantified at Wesleyan

A feature in The Hartford Courant details how Wesleyan Professor of Chemistry Wilbur Olin Atwater developed the respiration calorimeter in 1896, an innovation that led to his quantification of the calorie and all that followed that discovery. Atwater’s work verified, among other things, that humans are subject to the law of thermodynamics, something that was disputed by scientists in the late 1800s until his experiments yielded definitive proof.