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FAMOUS PEOPLE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

James Watt

James Watt was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, known for his improvements of the steam engine.

Watt was born on January 19, 1736, in Greenock, Scotland. He worked as a mathematical-instrument maker from the age of 19 and soon became interested in improving the steam engine which was used at that time to pump out water from mines.

Watt determined the properties of steam, especially the relation of its density to its temperature and pres­sure, and designed a separate condensing chamber for the steam engine that prevented large losses of steam in the cylinder. Watt's first patent, in 1769, covered this device and other improvements on steam engine.

At that time. Watt was the partner of the inventor John Roebuck, who had financed his researches. In 1775, however. Roebuck's interest was taken over by the manu­facturer Matthew Boulton, owner of the Soho Engineer­ing Works at Birmingham, and he and Watt began the manufacture of steam engines. Watt continued his re­search and patented several other important inventions, including the rotary engine for driving various types of machinery; the double-action engine, in which steam is admitted alternately into both ends of the cylinder; and the steam indicator, which records the steam pressure in the engine. He retired from the firm in 1800 and there­after devoted himself entirely to research work.

The misconception that Watt was the actual inventor of the steam engine arose from the fundamental nature of his contributions to its development. The centrifugal or flyball governor, which he invented in 1788, and which automatically regulated the speed of an engine, is of par­ticular interest today. It embodies the feedback princi­ple of a servomechanism, linking output to input, which is the basic concept of automation. Thewatt, the unit of power, was named in his honour. Watt was also a well-known civil engineer. He invented, in 1767, an attach­ment that adapted telescopes for use in the measurement of distances. Watt died in Heathfield, near Birmingham, in August 1819.

UNIT8

COMPUTERS

I. Text A: «What is a computer?», Text B: «Hardware», Text C: «Types of software»

II. Famous people of science and engineering: Charles Babbage.


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  8. FAMOUS PEOPLE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
  9. FAMOUS SCIENTISTS
  10. History of language as a science.
  11. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SCIENCE

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<== попередня сторінка | наступна сторінка ==>
Applications of Automation and Robotics in Industry | Text B: «HARDWARE»

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