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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
- About Us
Engine of Progress
18 March 1998 7:30 pm
German engineer Rudolf Diesel, the inventor known for his durable engine, was born on this day in 1853. When he was 40, Diesel published ideas for an engine that he believed would be more efficient than either steam or gasoline engines. He was manufacturing his namesake by 1899.
Diesel's machine relies on internal combustion, but lacks a carburetor to premix air and fuel and spark plugs to ignite the mixture. Instead, air in the cylinder is compressed to high pressure and temperature, and injected fuel ignites spontaneously. By the 1920s, the popular diesel engine had reached the United States, and by the 1950s, a large proportion of the world's ships and trains were diesel driven, with trucks, tractors, and buses following close behind.
[Source: Roy Porter, Ed., The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists (Oxford University Press, ed. 2, 1994).]