Vol. 3 No. 2 (2019)
Historical Articles

Sadi Carnot’s Réflexions and the foundation of thermodynamics

Pier Remigio Salvi
Dipartimento di Chimica “Ugo Schiff”, Università di Firenze via della Lastruccia 3, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
Bio
Vincenzo Schettino
Dipartimento di Chimica “Ugo Schiff”, Università di Firenze via della Lastruccia 3, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
Bio
Published September 29, 2019
How to Cite
Salvi, P. R., & Schettino, V. (2019). Sadi Carnot’s Réflexions and the foundation of thermodynamics. Substantia, 3(2), 73-96. https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-638

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to present a short review of Sadi Carnot work on heat engines and on the role his adherence to the caloric theory may have had. The essential points developed in the Réflexions are reviewed as forerunners of the science of thermodynamics. The antecedents that may have inspired the brilliant scientific insights of Carnot are reviewed together with the reception of the Carnot principles in the engineering and in the scientific community until the formulation of the two principles of modern thermodynamics.