Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/124

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118
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

well known and acknowledged to need recounting here. We wish merely to call to mind one upon whose theoretical deductions all the advances in the science of thermodynamics since his day have been based: Sadi Carnot, a young French military engineer.

Appreciation of genius is a mark of the civilization and culture of a people, and the world can ill afford to neglect the memory not only of the men who by practical application have helped to make that civilization possible, but also of those who by theoretical deduction have pointed out the way of progress. The world must needs remember those by whose brain power, as Mr. Fernald says, we have been

 

PSM V62 D124 Nicholas Leonard Sadi Carnot.png

Nicholas Leonard Sadi Carnot (1796-1832), Father of the Science of Thermodynamics.

 

enabled to cross the gulf of fire to the paradise of invention and achievement that lies beyond, of which none can see the farther bound. Every schoolboy knows of James Watt, of the Stephensons and their 'Rocket,' but who, save the special student, has ever heard of Sadi Carnot?

Watt made his great improvements in the steam engine (really almost invented it) during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. But for the next fifty years, including those covered by the life of Carnot, the development was seemingly the result of chance. The