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The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Memoirs By Carnot, Clausius, and Thomson (Classic Reprint)
by:William Francis Magie
After the invention of the steam-engine in its present form by James Watt, the attention of engineers and of scientific men was directed to the problem of its further improvement. With this end in view, the young Sadi Carnot, in 1824, published the Reflexions sur la Puissance Moirice du Feu, of which the translation is given in this volume. In this really...
After the invention of the steam-engine in its present form by James Watt, the attention of engineers and of scientific men was directed to the problem of its further improvement. With this end in view, the young Sadi Carnot, in 1824, published the Reflexions sur la Puissance Moirice du Feu, of which the translation is given in this volume. In this really great memoir, Carnot examined the relations between hciat and the work done by heat used in an ideal engine, and by reducing the problem to its simplest form and avoiding all special questions relating to details, he succeeded in establishing the conditions upon which the economical working of all heat-engines depends. It is notnecessary here to animadvert upon the use made by Carnot of the substantial theory of heat, and the consequent failure of the proof of his main proposition when the true nature of heat was appreciated. It is sufficient to say that though the proof was invalid, the proposition remained true, and carried with it the truth of such of Carnot sdeductions as were based solely upon it. Carnot smemoir remained for a long time unappreciated, and it was not until use was made of it by William Thomson (now Lord Kelvin), in 1848, to establish an absolute scale of temperature, that the merits of the method proposed in it were recognized. In his first paper on this subject Thomson retained the substantial theory of heat, but the evidence in favor of the mechanical theory became so strong that he soon after adopted the new view. Applying it to the questions treated by Carnot, he found that Carnots proposition could no longer be proved by denying the possibility of the perpetual motion, and was led to lay down a second fundamental principle to serve in the demonstration. This principle is now called the Second Law ofT(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)About the Publisher Forgotten Books is a pu
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