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François Isaac de Rivaz

François Isaac de Rivaz

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François Isaac de Rivaz was a French politician, chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

, Deputé (Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

), entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

 and inventor. In retirement, as a Swiss citizen, circa 1807, he invented a hydrogen powered internal combustion engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

 with electric ignition. In 1808 he fitted it into a primitive working vehicle - 'the world's first internal combustion powered automobile'.

Biography


François Isaac was born in Paris to a family from central Valais
Valais
The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...

 in the Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

. In 1763 the family settled in Moutier
Moutier
Moutier is a municipality in the Jura bernois administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. It is located in the French-speaking Bernese Jura .-History:...

 in the canton
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

 of Bern in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The last two boys, Anne Joseph and Isaac came to settle in St. Gingolph in Valais
Saint-Gingolph, Switzerland
Saint-Gingolph is a municipality in the district of Monthey in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.The municipality is the Swiss portion of the town of Saint-Gingolph, which straddles the Swiss-French border provided by the Morge river. The French side of the town is known as Saint-Gingolph,...

. It is not known at which schools he studied, but he became fluent in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 plus mastering mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and geometry
Geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....

, whilst continuing his study of mechanics
Mechanics
Mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment....

 throughout his life. He qualified as both a surveyor
Surveying
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...

 and notary
Notary
A notary is a lawyer or person with legal training who is licensed by the state to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents...

.

He served as an officer in the French army from 1775, where he was trained in the functions of firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

s and artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

. He also studied the ignition of combustible gases.

Isaac had many interests plus an intuitive and extremely curious mind which was driven by the demon of discovery. His experimental work was overflowing. He also experimented with steam-powered vehicles
History of steam road vehicles
The history of steam road vehicles describes the development of vehicles powered by a steam engine for use on land and independent of rails; whether for conventional road use, such as the steam car and steam waggon, or for agricultural or heavy haulage work, such as the traction engine.The first...

 in the late 18th century.

Internal combustion engine


After retirement from the Army, living in Switzerland, he invented a primitive internal combustion engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

 which he constructed in 1807. It was powered by a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen manually ignited by electric spark, but the engine neither involved the in-cylinder compression, the crank
Crank
-Mechanism:* Crank , in mechanical engineering, a bent portion of an axle, or shaft, or an arm keyed at right angles to the end of a shaft, by which motion is imparted to or received from it...

, nor the connecting rod
Connecting rod
In a reciprocating piston engine, the connecting rod or conrod connects the piston to the crank or crankshaft. Together with the crank, they form a simple mechanism that converts linear motion into rotating motion....

. A year later, Isaac built an early automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 for his new engine to power. His engine was never commercially successful.

Alternative claims for internal combustion engines


Coincidentally, in 1807 Nicéphore Niépce
Nicéphore Niépce
Nicéphore Niépce March 7, 1765 – July 5, 1833) was a French inventor, most noted as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field.He is most noted for producing the world's first known photograph in 1825...

 installed his 'moss, coal-dust and resin' fueled Pyréolophore
Pyréolophore
The Pyréolophore was probably the world's first internal combustion engine. It was invented in the early 19th century in Chalon-sur-Saône, France, by the Niépce brothers: Nicéphore Niépce and his brother Claude....

 internal combustion engine in a boat and powered up the river Saone
Saône
The Saône is a river of eastern France. It is a right tributary of the River Rhône. Rising at Vioménil in the Vosges department, it joins the Rhône in Lyon....

 in France to be granted a patent by the Emperor
Emperor of the French
The Emperor of the French was the title used by the Bonaparte Dynasty starting when Napoleon Bonaparte was given the title Emperor on 18 May 1804 by the French Senate and was crowned emperor of the French on 02 December 1804 at the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, in Paris with the Crown of...

 Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

. The discrete, virtually simultaneous, implementations of these two designs of internal combustion in different modes of transport means that the de Rivaz engine can be correctly described as 'the worlds first use of an internal combustion engine in an auto-mobile (in 1808)', whilst the 'Pyréolophore (in 1807) was the world's first use of an internal combustion engine in a ship'.

Although de Rivaz's early work is credited as the first use of the internal combustion engine in an automobile, the further development and mass production of the invention never truly began until the late nineteenth century.

In 1824, the French physicist Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot
Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot
Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot was a French military engineer who, in his 1824 Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire, gave the first successful theoretical account of heat engines, now known as the Carnot cycle, thereby laying the foundations of the second law of thermodynamics...

 scientifically established the thermodynamic theory of idealized heat engine
Heat engine
In thermodynamics, a heat engine is a system that performs the conversion of heat or thermal energy to mechanical work. It does this by bringing a working substance from a high temperature state to a lower temperature state. A heat "source" generates thermal energy that brings the working substance...

s. This highlighted the shortcoming of these pioneering designs, whereby they needed a compression mechanism to increase the difference between the upper and lower working temperatures and potentially unlock sufficient power and efficiency. Gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

 was not used for internal combustion engines until 1870 when carburetor
Carburetor
A carburetor , carburettor, or carburetter is a device that blends air and fuel for an internal combustion engine. It is sometimes shortened to carb in North America and the United Kingdom....

s were invented to convert non-combustible liquid fuels into a combustible gaseous mixture form.

See also

  • De Rivaz engine
    De Rivaz engine
    The de Rivaz engine was a pioneering reciprocating engine designed and developed from 1804 by the Franco-Swiss inventor Isaac de Rivaz. The engine has a claim to be the world's first internal combustion engine and contained some features of modern engines including spark ignition and the use of...


  • Timeline of transportation technology
    Timeline of transportation technology
    -Antiquity:*Stone Age – Dugout canoes*3500 BC – Wheeled carts are invented in Mesopotamia*3500 BC – River boats are invented *3100 BC – Horses are tamed and used for transport Botai Egypt *2000 BC – Chariots built by Indo-Iranians...

  • Timeline of hydrogen technologies
    Timeline of hydrogen technologies
    Timeline of hydrogen technologies — A timeline of the history of hydrogen technology.-1600s:* 1625 - First description of hydrogen by Johann Baptista van Helmont...

  • History of the internal combustion engine
    History of the internal combustion engine
    Although various forms of internal combustion engines were developed before the 19th century, their use was hindered until the commercial drilling and production of petroleum began in the mid-1850s...


  • Pyréolophore
    Pyréolophore
    The Pyréolophore was probably the world's first internal combustion engine. It was invented in the early 19th century in Chalon-sur-Saône, France, by the Niépce brothers: Nicéphore Niépce and his brother Claude....

  • Nicéphore Niépce
    Nicéphore Niépce
    Nicéphore Niépce March 7, 1765 – July 5, 1833) was a French inventor, most noted as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field.He is most noted for producing the world's first known photograph in 1825...


External links