In 1834, the French mining engineer Emile Clapeyron refers to Carnot’s motive power as “mechanical action”. As an example, during the expansion stroke of a piston engine he states that: “the gas will have developed a quantity of mechanical action during its expansion given by the integral of the product of the pressure times the differential of the volume.” Clapeyron then goes on to use graphical methods to show how this "mechanical action", i.e. work in modern terms, could be calculated.
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