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## Carnot's theorem (thermodynamics)
## Additional recommended knowledgeThe rule was an essential stepping stone towards the formulation of the second law of thermodynamics. When transforming thermal energy into mechanical energy, the thermal efficiency of a heat engine is the percentage of energy that is transformed into work. Thermal efficiency is defined as - ,
where: -
*W*is the work done by the system (energy exiting the system as work), -
*Q*_{H}is the heat put into the system (heat energy entering the system), -
*T*_{C}is the absolute temperature of the cold reservoir, and -
*T*_{H}is the temperature of the hot reservoir.
Carnot's theorem sets essential limitations on the yield of a cyclic heat engine such as steam engines or internal combustion engines: they can extract only a certain proportion of mechanical energy from the heat of the working fluid; this maximal amount is realized by the ideal Carnot heat engine. |
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Carnot's_theorem_(thermodynamics)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia. |