The Aeolipile

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The Aeolipile, the first rotating steam engine, was invented in the first century AD by the mathematician and engineer Heron of Alexandria. First described in his treatise Pneumatica, it is considered a precursor of the Industrial Revolution's steam engines. The aeolipile was mounted on a cauldron with tubes leading into a hollow disk with a pair of tubes that allow steam to escape, causing a rotational motion. When the flame at the bottom increases, the disk spins faster.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



See more details of the Aeolipile on Wikipedia.

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