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Questions tagged [steam-engines]

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What was the chronologically first derivation PV=nRT?

Wikipedia describes the Ideal Gas Law as coming from a combination of Boyle's Law, Charles' Law, Avogadro's Law, and Gay-Lussac's Law. It gives several derivations, both empirical and theoretical, ...
dain's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
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Napoleon I and Fulton: Steamship rejection story real?

A fairly well-known story is Fulton offering to build steam ships for The Emperor and Napoleon replying something like, "A ship that sails by bonfires under its decks?? Away with you, visionist!&...
releseabe's user avatar
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1 vote
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Why was using rockets to propel a winged vehicle not proposed in the 19th century?

My understanding that among the key technologies that allowed manned flight was a powerful enough engine that was also lightweight. Steam was attempted but the gasoline engine turned out to be key. ...
releseabe's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
56 views

What were the first practical applications of Newton's mechanics on engine design?

I'm interested in when and how Isaac Newton's mechanics first came to be applied practically in engine design. Did for example Thomas Newcomen take advantage on Newtons discoveries when he invented ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
5 votes
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173 views

Why was Beaumont's steam engine not replicated for about 100 years?

Via a recent answer of mine, an ultimately wikipedia, I've learned that the first Steam Engine used to drain a mine was invented by Jeronimo Beamont, in 1606. He got a patent for it too. This was in ...
DrZ214's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
147 views

Was knowledge derived from the scientific method required to build commercial steam engines?

Historically steam engines got developed in England after the introduction of the hypothetico-deductive scientific method. Was the hypothetico-deductive method or knowledge about thermodynamics or ...
Christian's user avatar
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2 votes
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How did the snifting valve in Newcomen's steam engine work?

Its function was to expel the air that came inside the cylinder along with the steam to prevent the engine to become "wind logged". Since the valve was non-return, how did Newcomen stopped steam from ...
user6341's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
224 views

Why were the first steam engines “atmospheric engines”

Anybody who has boiled water knows that a positive pressure builds up when steam is produced. Indeed the first conceptual design of a steam engine (the Aeolipile) was a "positive pressure" engine. The ...
Miguel's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Was the steam engine really known in ancient Egypt?

Some sources on the Internet state that the steam engine was known in ancient Egypt, although it wasn't used very widely. Is it true? If the answer is yes, it was known, or at least suspected, why ...
peterh's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could the industrial revolution have happened in Hellenistic Alexandria?

One of my favorite scientists in history is Hero of Alexandria, who invented a variety of clever mechanical devices in the first century AD, long before their economic potential was realized. Included ...
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11 votes
4 answers
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Why did most steam locomotives use simple expansion?

As steam engine pressures increased, it was realized the exhaust steam still had useful pressure. The compound engine was invented to take advantage of this. The exhaust from a small high pressure ...
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13 votes
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Who invented the steam engine: Newcomen or Watt?

The steam engine was one of the main enabling technologies of the industrial revolution. Many histories of the Industrial Revolution chart the steam engine's rise with James Watt. However, Thomas ...
winwaed's user avatar
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