Denis Papin

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Papin, Denis


Born Aug. 22, 1647, in Chitenay, near Blois; died 1714 (according to some data, 1712) in London. French physicist. Member of the Royal Society of London (1680).

From 1661 to 1674, Papin studied and practiced medicine in Angers. In Paris in 1673 and 1674 he assisted C. Huygens with the latter’s air-pump experiments. At the same time, he began investigating the relationship between the boiling point of water and pressure. In 1675, Papin moved to London, where he worked as an assistant to R. Boyle. He later lived in Venice, returning in 1684 to London, where he became the temporary curator of experiments for the Royal Society. In 1688 he was made professor of mathematics at the University of Marburg.

In 1680, Papin reported the invention of a pressure-cookerlike device with a safety valve (“Papin’s digester”). Between 1684 and 1687 he conducted many experiments in hydraulics and invented several machines for lifting water. Papin proposed a design for a centrifugal pump in 1689. He described a closed thermodynamic cycle for a steam engine in 1690 but was unable to build a working engine. In 1696 he designed a furnace for melting glass, a steam vehicle, and a steam cannon. As a physicist, Papin understood and appreciated the energy characteristics of steam, but as an engineer he was unable to construct an engine based on these characteristics.


A New Digester or Engine for Softening Bones: Containing the Description of Its Make and Use. London, 1681.


Radtsig, A. A. Istoriia teplotekhniki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.


References in periodicals archive ?
Without the exploits of the French pioneer Denis Papin, long before the Industrial Revolution, this worldwide phenomenon may never have happened.
* En 1679, el fisico frances Denis Papin diseno un recipiente de acero fundido que, al cerrarse con un tornillo, permitia cocer los alimentos en poco tiempo, gracias a su combinacion de temperatura y presion elevadas.
In 1679 the French physicist Denis Papin (1647-?1712) developed the pressure cooker, a vessel with a tightly fitted lid in which water was boiled and the accumulated steam created a pressure that raised water's boiling point.
Address : Zac Des Montatons, 20 Rue Denis Papin 91240 Saint Michel Sur Orge