Thomas Young (1773 – 1829) coined the word “energy,” and recognized the vital importance of kinetic energy.

Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis (1797 – 1843) emphasized the importance of the concept of work in the definition of kinetic energy.

James P. Joule (1818 – 1889) took up where Young and Coriolis left off, adding the concept of potential energy, and discovering the great generalization of the Law of Conservation of Energy, one of the most indispensable concepts of all physics.