Rankine, William J(ohn) M(acquorn)

Rankine, William J(ohn) M(acquorn)

biographical name

(born July 5, 1820, Edinburgh, Scot.—died Dec. 24, 1872, Glasgow) Scottish engineer and physicist, one of the founders of thermodynamics. His classic Manual of the Steam Engine and Other Prime Movers (1859) was the first attempt at a systematic treatment of the theory of steam engines. He worked out a thermodynamic cycle of events (the Rankine cycle) that was used as a standard for the performance of steam-power installations in which a condensable vapour provides the working fluid.

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