This book is about the Stirling engine and its development from the heavy cast-iron machine of the nineteenth century into the efficient high-speed engine of today. It is not a handbook: it does not tell the reader how to build a Stirling engine. It is rather the history of a research effort spanning nearly fifty years, together with an outline of principles, some technical details and descriptions of the more important engines. No one will dispute the position of Philips as the pioneer of the modern Stirling engine. Hence the title of the book, hence also the contents, which are confined largely to the Philips work on the subject. Valuable work has been done elsewhere but this is discussed only marginally in order to keep the book within a reasonable size. The book is addressed to a wide audience on an academic level. The first two chapters can be read by the technically interested layman but after that some engineering background and elementary mathematics are generally necessary. Heat engines are traditionally the engineer's route to thermodynamics: in this context, the Stirling engine, which is the simplest of all heat engines, is more suited as a practical example than either the steam engine or the internal-combustion engine. The book is also addressed to historians of technology, from the viewpoint of the twentieth century revival of the Stirling engine as well as its nineteenth century origins.
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...an excellent, well-written and presented book. It contains much information of interest to the specialist and also is a splendid read for the non-specialist mechanical engineer. I recommend it strongly. -- IMECHE
The style of presentation and the author's attention to the meticulous details are to be commended. This book is an excellent addition to technical libraries. -- Applied Mechanic Reviews
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