"Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire and on Machines Fitted to Develop
that Power is a book/monograph
published in 1824 by French physicist Sadi
his only publication. The
65-page book's French title was Réflexions
sur la puissance motrice du feu et sur les machines propres à développer cette
puissance. It is a significant publication
in the history
of thermodynamics about a
generalized theory of heat
Carnot stated that motive
due to the fall of caloric (heat)
from a hot to a cold body."
Reflections on the Motive Power of
Heat (English translation by R.H. Thurston),
Accompanied by "An Account of Carnot's Theory" by Sir William Thompson
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Hosted by Prof. M. Kostic at www.kostic.niu.edu
also NEW Special Issue (open for
manuscript submissions till 31 March 2016):
Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Editor: Milivoje M. Kostic) > NIUToday
"Nothing occurs locally, nor globally in the universe, without mass-energy exchange/conversion and entropy production.
It is crystal-clear (to me) that all confusions related to the far-reaching fundamental Laws of Thermodynamics, and especially the (Abstract & FULL paper), are due to the lack of their genuine and subtle comprehension." > Sadi Carnot's Reflections <*> Clausius Theory of Heat < Elusive Nature of Entropy
Sadi Carnot (1824) laid ingenious foundations for the Second Law of Thermodynamics and discovery of Entropy before the First Law of energy conservation was even known (Joule, 1843), and long before thermodynamic concepts were established in the second half of the nineteenth century. In historical context, it is hard to comprehend now, how Carnot then, at age 28, ingeniously and fully explained the critical concepts of reversible thermo-mechanical processes and the limits of converting heat to work at inception of the heat engines’ era, when nature of heat was not fully understood. No wonder that Sadi Carnot’s “Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu (Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire ),” original treatise published in 1824, was not noticed at his time, when his ingenious reasoning of ideal heat engine reversible cycles, is not fully recognized, and may be truly comprehended by a few, even nowadays.
Note that Carnot erroneously assumed that the same caloric (heat) passes through the engine and extracts (produces) work by lowering its temperature, similar to how the same water flow passes through the water-wheel and produces work by lowering its elevation potential. This error (violating energy conservation), considering the knowledge at the time, in no way diminishes Carnot’s ingenious reasoning and conclusions about limiting, reversible processes and its accurate limitations of heat to work conversion .
The Carnot Ratio Equality, Qrev/T = constant (named in Carnot’s honor, Equation (2)), is much more important than what it appears at first. Actually, the “Carnot Ratio Equality” is probably the most important equation in Thermodynamics and among the most important equations in natural sciences. Carnot’s ingenious reasoning opened the way to the generalization of Thermodynamic reversibility and energy process-equivalency, definition of absolute thermodynamic temperature, and a new thermodynamic material property “Entropy”, as well as the Gibbs Free Energy, one of the most important Thermodynamic functions for the characterization of electro-chemical systems and their equilibriums, thus resulting in the formulation of the universal and far-reaching Second Law of thermodynamics [Kostic 2011 & 2014].