Carnot cycle

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The basics of the Carnot cycle, devised by Sadi Carnot (1834), wherein: a number of "caloric" particles go in, the working substance expands; the same number of caloric particles go out, the working substance contracts; and "no change" occurs to the working substance, and end the end of the cycle.

In thermodynamics, Carnot cycle (TR:91) (LH:3) (TL:94) refers to []


In 1783, Antoine Lavoisier, in his Memoir on Heat, using the Papin digester (1679), Papin engine (1690), and Boerhaave law (1720s) as a basis, introduced the verbal outline of the reversible heat cycle.[1]

In 1824, Sadi Carnot, in his On the Motive Power of Fire, building on Lavoisier and Papin, introduced the Carnot cycle or Lavoisier-Carnot cycle, as shown adjacent, according to which so many "caloric" particles go into the system or working body, causing the working body to expand, and at the end of the cycle, the exact same number of caloric particles come out.


In 1798, Benjamin Thomson, in his cannon boring experiment, disproved that caloric model of heat.

In 1799, Humphrey Davy, via his ice rubbing experiment, disproved the caloric model of heat.

Equivalence value model

In 1840s, James Joule, and others, introduced the "mechanical equivalent of heat" model, which replaced the matter theory of heat, which was behind the caloric model.

Clausius cycle

In 1850, Rudolf Clausius, together with William Thomson, began upgrading the reversible Carnot cycle model to the irreversible Clausius cycle model, finalized in 1865.


The following are related quotes:

“He was a practical electrician fond of whiskey, a heavy, red-haired brute with irregular teeth. He doubted the existence of a deity but accepted Carnot's cycle, and he had read Shakespeare and found him weak in chemistry.”
— Herbert Wells (1906), "Lord of the Dynamos"[2]
“Where does the Carnot cycle fit into chemistry. I can’t answer that question. It’s a tenuous connection.”
— Reginald Penner (2012), “Thermodynamics and Chemical Dynamics” [3]

End matter


  1. Lavoisier, Antoine; Laplace, Pierre. (1783). Memoir on Heat (translator: Henry Guerlac). Neale, 1982.
  2. (a) Wells, Herbert. (1906). "Lord of the Dynamos" (txt), in: The Door in the Wall, and Other Stories, Lord of the Dynamos (§7: The Daily Chronicle), Summer No. July 14th.
    (b) Gaither, Carl C. and Cavazos-Gaither, Alma E. (2002). Chemically Speaking: a Dictionary of Quotations (pg. 125). CRC Press.
  3. Penner, Reginald. (2012). “Thermodynamics and Chemical Dynamics” (Ѻ), UCI Chem 131 C, May 7

External links

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