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It is but just, however, to state, that the new theory of heat now being submitted to the test of experiment, will modify very much the theory of the steam-engine. Until the new views, however, have been conclusively affirmed, it would be premature here to specify them; we shall therefore confine ourselves to a statement of the theory of the steam-engine as generally received. When a quantity of water is heated until it arrives at a certain fixed temperature, an elastic fluid or aqueous vapour is evolved; this is called steam, and resembles in many of its properties common air. Like air, it is elastic, capable of being reduced in bulk by compression; the pressure which it exerts in the vessel into which it is compressed being exactly in proportion to the amount of compression, (See volume on Natural Philosophy in this series.) Like air, steam is also capable of an increase of volume or bulk ;this expansion reducing the pressure on the vessel in which it is allowed to expand just in proportion to the amount of expansion.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don’t occur in the book.)

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (June 14, 2012)
  • Language: English