Internal combustion engine

An internal combustion engine (ICE or IC engine) is a heat engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion applies direct force to some component of the engine. The force is typically applied to pistons (piston engine), turbine blades (gas turbine), a rotor (Wankel engine), or a nozzle (jet engine). This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into kinetic energy which is used to propel, move or power whatever the engine is attached to.

Diagram of a cylinder as found in an overhead cam 4-stroke gasoline engine: C – crankshaft E – exhaust camshaft I – inlet camshaft P – piston R – connecting rod S – spark plug V – valves. red: exhaust, blue: intake. W – cooling water jacket gray structure – engine block

Invention of the first official computer

Before computer came along as term we all use today, the word computer referred to the person who would add and subtract numbers for hours. The person would do that and enter those numbers into tables, so that people could calculate easier what they need to. English scientist, Charles Babbage wanted to make a machine that could calculate much faster than a person could. Charles Babbage needed funding from the Government to make such a machine, which he was provided with for his project. He spent 8 years in trying to make machine. He didn’t succeed in his idea fully, since Government funding ran out. This only encouraged Charles to make even more complicated machine. By the more complicated machine, he meant machine that could calculate complex calculations. Of course, he spent a lot of time in elaborating details for this machine on paper. This machine was made up from basic components that every modern computer has today. Components included memory and central processing unit or CPU. Babbage’s idea never enlightened people in his lifetime, because there wasn’t enough funding for this to happen. However, his youngest son helped making his idea real couple decades later.

Conversion of Energy: People and Animals

There are five major reasons why horses are better draft animals than cattle. Unlike in cattle, frontal parts of horses' bodies are heavier than their rears (the ratio is approximately 3:2) and this gives them an advantage in inertial motion. Their unique arrangement of the suspensory ligament and a pair of tendons makes it possible to “lock” their legs without engaging any muscles and hence without any additional energy cost incurred during standing. Horses also grow generally larger and live longer than cattle, and they have greater work endurance. However, their superior strength was efficiently harnessed only with the widespread adoption of the collar harness and iron horseshoes, and their inherent power and endurance became readily available only with better feeding. Fitted, and later also padded, collar harnesses provided a desirably low traction angle and allowed for the deployment of powerful breast and shoulder muscles without any restriction on the animal's breathing . Its precursor was first documented in China in the 5th century of the CE, and an improved version spread to Europe just before the end of the first millennium. Another important innovation in harnessing was swingletrees attached to traces in order to equalize the strain resulting from uneven pulling: Their use made it possible to harness an even or odd number of animals. Iron horseshoes prevented excessive wear of hooves and they also improved traction. 

However, collars and horseshoes alone could not guarantee the widespread use of horses: Only larger and better fed horses proved to be superior draft animals. The body mass, and hence power, of European draft horses began to increase only after the working stock benefited from several centuries of breeding heavy war animals needed to carry armored knights. However, these more powerful horses needed at least some cereal or legume grains, not just grasses fed to weaker animals and cattle. Production of concentrate feed required intensification of farming in order to provide yields high enough for both people and animals. Agricultural intensification was a slow process, and it first began in northwestern Europe during the late 18th century. Even larger horses were taxed when pulling wooden ploughs, whose heavy soles, wheels, and moldboards generated enormous friction, particularly in wet soils. Moreover, the absence of a smooth, curved fitting between the share and the flat moldboard caused constant clogging by compressed soil and weeds. Iron moldboard ploughs were introduced to Europe from China during the 17th century, and cast iron shares were replaced with smooth, curved steel ploughshares by the mid-19th century during the rise of the modern steel industry. Horses then became the principal energizers of the world's largest extension of arable land that took place on the plains and prairies of North America, pampas of Argentina, and grasslands of Australia and southern Russia during the latter half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century.The heaviest horse breeds—French Percherons, English Shires, and German Rheinlanders—could work briefly at rates of more than 2 kW (approximately 3 horsepower), and they could steadily deliver 800–1000 W. Feed requirements of these animals were high, but their net energy benefit was indisputable: A horse eating 4 kg of oats per day preempted cultivation of food grain that would have fed approximately 6 adults, but its power could supplant that of at least 10 strong men. Larger and better fed horses also provided essential traction during the initial stages of industrialization, powering road and canal transport, turning whims in mining, and performing tasks in food processing and in numerous manufactures. In most of these tasks, they were displaced by steam engines before the mid-19th century, but even as the railways were taking over long-distance transport, horse-drawn carts, trucks, and streetcars continued to move people and goods in all rapidly growing cities of the late 19th century. Only the diffusion of internal combustion engines and electric motors ended the use of horses as urban prime movers. However, in fieldwork, horses remained important well into the 20th century. Obviously, their largest numbers were supported where abundant farmland made it easy to produce the requisite feed. The total number of farm horses (and mules) peaked at 21 million animals in 1919 in the United States, when at least 20% of the country's farmland was needed to cultivate their feed. Subsequent mass adoption of tractors and self-propelled field machines was inevitable: Even small tractor engines could replace at least 10 horses and needed no farmland for support. The U.S. Department of Agriculture discontinued its count of draft animals in 1960, when approximately 3 million working horses were still left on American farms. However, in China, the total number of draft horses continued to increase even after 1980, when the country began its economic modernization. Horses, as well as water buffaloes, yaks, camels, and donkeys, remain important draft and pack animals in parts of Asia and Africa.

Virtually complete substitution of animate prime movers by engines and motors is one of the key attributes of modern high-energy society, in which humans act as designers and controllers of increasingly more powerful energy flows rather than as weak prime movers, and in which a rare working animal is an object of curiosity. Nothing illustrates the wide gap between the affluent and the subsistence areas of the world better than the fact that heavy, repetitive, and dangerous human exertions (including those of millions of children) and the draft of hundreds of millions of animals continue to be indispensable prime movers in large areas of the three continents on which modernity is still a promise for tomorrow.