|In science, the timeline of thermodynamics traces the sequential development of the modern subject of thermodynamics. A preliminary horizontally-scrolling timeline (under-construction) is shown below:|
|Parmenides' void denial (485BC)||Galileo vacuum device|
|Torricelli vacuum experiment |
|Bigger Torricelli experiment|
|Piston and cylinder |
|Guericke beer keg vacuum attempt |
|Guericke vacuum pump |
|Boyle pneumatical engine|
|Guericke piston experiment|
|Guericke lifting experiment|
|Huygens gunpowder engine|
|Papin's pneumatic engine for raising water|
|Papin’s gunpowder and air engine|
|Bernoulli pressure model |
|Smeaton engine |
(Improved Newcomen engine)
|Sun and planet gear|
(modern Watt engine)
| Indicator diagram |
|Rumford's cannon boring experiment|
|Carnot engine |
|Joule's paddle wheel experiment |
|Thompson's thermodynamic surface|
|Maxwell's thermodynamic surface|
|Van't Hoff equilibrium box|
|Photon mill |
|Hot photon/Cold photon model|
|Thims' earth system model|
(piston and cylinder model)
|Thims' earth system model|
|In the circa 485 BC treatise “On Nature”, Greek physicist-philosopher Parmenides argued that a void or rather a vacuum, in nature, could not exist. This launched the two-millennium long “nature abhors a vacuum” debate.||Italian physicist Galileo Galilei’s circa 1630-1646 experiment for testing the “force of the vacuum”. ||Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli's 1643 testing of the nature abhors a vacuum theory, wherein a filled tube of mercury is upended into a dish of mercury, without letting any mercury escape, the result of which is that the column falls by a certain height which varies with the atmospheric pressure of the earth; the top evacuated space is called "Torricelli vacuum"; the device itself has since come to be called a barometer.||A 1644 rendition of experiments of Torricelli and his mountain top attempt (1643) at making a vacuum by means of a mercury column, Florence. ||In circa 1647, German engineer Otto Guericke built a piston and cylinder.||A Schott diagram depiction of German engineer Otto Guericke's famous circa 1649 beer keg vacuum experiment, in which Guericke and another man (or Guericke's two assistants) try to completely evacuate the fluid from a well-caulked beer keg, so to see if a "vacuum" could be made (at the top of the keg), the existence of which that was deemed impossible by Parmenides.||In 1650, Guericke built a vacuum pump, in the operation of which, when the handle is cranked, each downward stroke works to draw air out of the bulb (vacuum bulb) at the top, which can then be sealed, removed, and employed elsewhere; he used the device to disprove Parmenide's vacuums-are-impossible theory. || In his most-famous experiment, to demonstrate the power of the vacuum, paraded in grand public exhibitions about Europe, between 1654 and 1663, Guericke built the "Magdeburg hemispheres", two copper hemispheres, fitted together with grease at their rims, in such a manner to form a hollow sphere, out of which the air could be removed by means of the vacuum bulb, after which two teams of horses, ranging from 8-15 horses per team, pulling in opposite directions, could not pull the hemispheres apart. |
To the amazement of onlookers, with the twist of the syringe, air would be let in; enabling the two hemisphere’s to be separatable by a child. These demonstrations showed that the power of the vacuum was greater than 30 horse power (although the term “horsepower” would be coined later by James Watt).
|After learning about Guerickes vacuum pump, from a reading of the 1657 book Mechanical Hydraulic Pneumatics (in which the vacuum pump was described) by German scientist Gaspar Schott, a correspondent of Guericke, English scientist assigned Robert Boyle the job of building a vacuum pump / air pump combination device called the pneumatical engine, with which the Boyle's law was determined, the first of the gas laws.||In circa 1652, Guericke built the first working model of his Guericke engine or vacuum engine used his vacuumed-out bulb attached to the piston and cylinder to show that with the twist of the stopper opening to vacuum bulb, the "power of the vacuum" could do the work of twenty plus men.||In a third demonstration of 1654, Guericke arranged the piston at the top of the cylinder, having a scale loaded with 2,686 lbs attached to it, shown above right. In this configuration, a little boy, by means of a small syringe applied at the stopper x to pump out the air, was able to bring down the piston and raise the weight.||In 1685, also after reading about Guerickes vacuum pump, as described in Schott's 1657 Mechanical Hydraulic Pneumatics 1657, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens, built a gunpowder engine, on the logic that an explosion inside the piston would create a vacuum, thus forcing down the piston, and doing the work of five or more men.||In 1679, French physicist Denis Papin, after working with Huygen's on his gunpowder engine (and other variants) from 1670 to 1673, and with Boyle and his pneumatical engine, built a bone digester a pressure cooker for softening bones, later to be called Papin's digester. Earlier designs exploded, so Papin added on a steam release valve.||In 1690, Papin designed the proto-type for the modern-day steam engine, albeit only on paper, as published in his 1690 memoir "A New Method to Obtain Very Great Motive Powers at Small Cost." It said that he conceived of this design after watching the steam release valve, on his pressure cooker, bob up and down.|
Papin's two-step cycle of operation consisted of alternating contact of a water filled piston and cylinder with a fire (hot body) and water (cold body).
|In 1698, English engineer Thomas Savery used Papin's engine design as a model to make the first working proto-type steam engine, called the "Miner's friend" (Savery engine), a sump pump of sorts that worked to suck water out of flooded mines, work previously done by hand or by horse.||In 1712, English engineer Thomas Newcomen improved on Savery's sump pump design to make the actual steam engine (Newcomen engine).||In the 1738 book Hydrodynamica, Dutch-born Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli outlined the basics of the ideal gas law, the precursors for the kinetic theory of gases, and gave the first basic definition of pressure, as collisions of particles against a surface.||John Smeaton|| Artist’s recreation of James Watt inventing the separate condenser for the steam engine (c.1765); rather than spraying cold water on the hot piston itself, the hot steam would now be sent to a separate area and cooled there separately, thus greatly increasing the efficiency of the heat engine.  |
Watt took over a decade to develop fully his new 'separate condenser'. By condensing the steam in a vessel separate from an engine's cylinder, Watt reduced fuel consumption by up to 75% compared with the older Newcomen engine. In 1769 Watt obtained his patent for 'A new Method of Lessening the Consumption of Steam and Fuel in Fire Engines'. 
|In 1781, James Watt invented the sun and planet gear, as shown in the above design (which is actually Watt's lap engine of 1788), hence converting pure reciprocative motion (up-down motion), left, into rotary motion, right. ||In 1788, James Watt invented the centrifugal governor according to which if the engine began to gain excessive speed, the balls would rise owing, to centrifugal force, thus throttling the steam inlet valve, slowing the engine, a type of self-regulating feedback device for engine control.||In 1796, Watt and his employee John Southern developed a work measurement tool called an "indicator diagram", used to exactly quantify the work produced by a steam engine, which made a chart of the pressure of the steam in a cylinder plotted out against the steam's volume. In particular, it was Southern that developed the simple, but critical, technique to generate the diagram by fixing a board so as to move with the piston, thereby tracing the "volume" axis, while a pencil, attached to a pressure gauge, moved at right angles to the piston, tracing "pressure". The gauge enabled Watt to calculate the work done by the steam while ensuring that its pressure had dropped to zero by the end of the stroke, thereby ensuring that all useful working potential had been extracted.||In 1798, American-born English inventor Benjamin Thompson performed his famous "cannon boring experiment" to test the validity of French chemist Antoine Lavoisier's caloric theory, the result of which is that Thomson disproved the existence of caloric, opening the need for a "new" theory of heat, a call that would not be answered until 1865 when German physicist Rudolf Clausius dubbed the differential dQ/T by the name "entropy", a new exact differential formulation of heat.||In 1824, French physicist Sadi Carnot published his Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire, in which he developed basic heat engine theory, namely the Carnot engine model, which operates according to the seven-step Carnot cycle, as based on the generic steam engine model of the Papin engine operating according to Papin's two-step cycle of alternating contact of a water filled piston and cylinder with a hot body and cold body.|
This publication marks the start of the science of thermodynamics.
|In 1834, French physicist Emile Clapeyron but French physicist French physicist Sadi Carnot's theory of generalized heat engines into a graphical format, hence introducing the famous PV diagrams of engineering, enabling engineers to now calculate "work" (PV work) quantitatively. ||In 1843, English physicist James Joule performed his famous "paddle wheel experiment" calculation of the mechanical equivalent of heat, the precursor experimental result to both the first main principle and the second main principle, formulated by German physicist Rudolf Clausius in final form in 1865.||In 1871, Scottish engineer James Thomson made a thermodynamics surface model, a precursor, it seems to or influence to American engineer Willard Gibbs' 1873 graphical thermodynamics of fluids and Scottish physicist James Maxwell's 1874 thermodynamic surface.||In the 1874, using Willard Gibbs' 1873 graphical thermodynamics of fluids Scottish physicist James Maxwell's made several thermodynamic surface.||The so-called Van't Hoff equilibrium box was invented by Danish physical chemist Jacobus van't Hoff in circa 1886 and supposedly is the basis for the equation that relates free energy change (ΔG or ΔF) to the equilibrium constant (k) of a chemical reaction.||The original 1982 schematic of the earth or earth surface section acting as a photon mill, by German physical evolutionists Werner Ebeling and Rainer Feistel, depicting the estimation of the terrestrial entropy export, about which the earth is described as existing at mean surface temperature of about 300 K, located amid a radiative thermal gradient of 6000 K (the hot sun) and 3 K (the cold cosmic background), through which the flow of photons (similar to the flow of water in a water mill), operate, as they describe in 2011, as such: “entropy production necessarily accompanies the multiple self-organization phenomena and sustained dissipative structures observed in our natural environment.” ||In 2005, based on the Ebeling-Feistel photon mill concept, American ecologist Eric Schneider and Dorion Sagan, in their Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life, made a similar thermodynamic system (hot body/cold body) stylized hot photon/cold photon version, as shown above. ||In 2007, American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, based on the Schneider version, introduced a piston and cylinder earth surface system model.||In 2012, Thims obtained a rotating illuminating globe and made a see-though piston and cylinder to explain in lecture the concept of equivalence value of all uncompensated transformations in social system terms:|
1. (a) Boschiero, Luciano. (2007). Experimental and Natural Philosophy in Seventeenth-century Tuscany (pg. 118). Springer.
(b) Galilei, Galileo. (date). Discorsi e dimostraziono Matematiche Intorno a due Nuove Scienze Attenenti all Meccanica and I Movimenti Locali; in: Leida: Appresso gli Elsevirii, 1638, 15.
2. (a) The Vacuum – RadicalArt.info.
(b) Torricelli, Evangelista. (1644). " Letter to Michelangelo Ricci concerning the Barometer," June 11. In: Collected Works Vol. III (1919). Also in: William Francis Magie: A Source Book in Physics (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1935).
(c) Middleton,W.E.K. (1964). The History of the Barometer (pp. 23-30). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
3. (a) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One) (esp. ch. 3). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(b) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
4. Watt inventing the condenser (photo) – Britannica.
5. The first separate condenser – ScienceMuseum.org.uk.
6. Reciprocating motion – Wikipedia.
7. Ebeling, Werner and Feistel, Rainer. (2011). Physics of Self-Organization and Evolution (§3.1: The Photon Mill, pgs. 88-). John Wiley & Co.
8. Schneider, Eric D. and Sagan, Dorion. (2005). Into the Cool - Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life (pg. 164). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
| See also|
● Evolution timeline
● History of thermodynamics
● History of human thermodynamics
● Timeline of thermodynamics – Wikipedia.