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Rankine

Rankine

[rang-kin]
Rankine, William John Macquorn, 1820-72, Scottish engineer and physicist. Serving as a professor of engineering at the Univ. of Glasgow from 1855, he made valuable contributions to civil and mechanical engineering as well as to thermodynamics. His manuals of applied mechanics and of civil engineering and one on the steam engine and other such engines went into many editions.

(born July 5, 1820, Edinburgh, Scot.—died Dec. 24, 1872, Glasgow) Scottish engineer and physicist, one of the founders of thermodynamics. His classic Manual of the Steam Engine and Other Prime Movers (1859) was the first attempt at a systematic treatment of the theory of steam engines. He worked out a thermodynamic cycle of events (the Rankine cycle) that was used as a standard for the performance of steam-power installations in which a condensable vapour provides the working fluid.

Learn more about Rankine, William J(ohn) M(acquorn) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born July 5, 1820, Edinburgh, Scot.—died Dec. 24, 1872, Glasgow) Scottish engineer and physicist, one of the founders of thermodynamics. His classic Manual of the Steam Engine and Other Prime Movers (1859) was the first attempt at a systematic treatment of the theory of steam engines. He worked out a thermodynamic cycle of events (the Rankine cycle) that was used as a standard for the performance of steam-power installations in which a condensable vapour provides the working fluid.

Learn more about Rankine, William J(ohn) M(acquorn) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Rankine's method is a technique for laying out circular curves by a combination of chaining and angles at circumference, fully exploiting the theodolite and making a substantial improvement in accuracy and productivity over existing methods.

Rankine's method is named for its discoverer William John Macquorn Rankine at an early stage of his career. He had been working on railways in Ireland, on the construction of the Dublin and Drogheda line.

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