The Electric Age

  • David Cassidy
  • Gerald Holton
  • James Rutherford
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Contemporary Physics book series (UTCP)


In Chapter 6, we discussed the development of steam engines during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These engines enabled industrialization by making available the vast stores of energy contained in coal, wood, and oil. By burning fuel, chemical energy is converted into heat energy, which in turn can be used to boil water to produce steam. By letting the steam expand against a piston or a turbine blade, heat energy can be converted to mechanical energy. In this way, a steam engine can power machinery.


Wind Turbine Steam Turbine Heat Engine Light Bulb Electromagnetic Induction 
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Further Reading

  1. R.V. Bruce, Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude, In: C.W. Pursell, Jr., ed., Technology in America (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989), pp. 105–116.Google Scholar
  2. J.J. Flink, Henry Ford and the Triumph of the Automobile, In: C.W. Pursell., Jr., ed., Technology in America ( Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989 ), pp. 172–173.Google Scholar
  3. M. Brower, Cool Energy: Renewable Solutions to Environmental Problems (Cambridge, NIA: MIT Press, 1992 ).Google Scholar
  4. R. Rhodes and D. Bollen, The Need for Nuclear Power, Foreign Affairs, Jan./Feb. 2000, 30–44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Cassidy
    • 1
  • Gerald Holton
    • 2
  • James Rutherford
    • 3
  1. 1.Natural Science ProgramHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA
  2. 2.358 Jefferson Physical LaboratoryHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.American Association for Advancement of ScienceUSA

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