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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Engine of Progress
18 March 1999 7:00 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).]