Copyright (c) 2019 Pier Remigio Salvi, Vincenzo Schettino
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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.