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Heron of Alexandria

c 152 BC, Alexandria
c 82 BC, Egypt?

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principal papers

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keywords
hydraulics, steam engine, mathematics

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Achievement

Heron, or Hiero, was a scientist and inventor in Alexandria. Heron wrote many books on mathematics, physics, geometry, and mechanics. The 'Pneumatica' describes mechanical devices operated by compressed air, water or steam, such as a fire engine, a water organ, and the aeolipile, which is the first steam-powered engine. His device consisted of a sphere mounted on a boiler by an axial shaft and having two canted nozzles to produce a rotary motion from the escaping steam.

The later steam engines of the 18th century were partly based on this design.

 

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