Newcomen Steam Engine
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The first practical thermal engine was invented in England by Thomas Newcomen in 1792. It was used to pump water out of mines. Steam is first generated by the boiler and pushes the piston up inside the cylinder. When the piston reaches the top, water is sprayed into the cylinder to cool the steam and hence create a partial vacuum. Air pressure then pushes the piston back down and the cycle repeats.
Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (January 2012)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
"Newcomen Steam Engine"
Wolfram Demonstrations Project
Published: January 31 2012