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PLENARI PAPER
COUNT RUMFORD ON THE ART AND SCIENCE OF HEAT TRANSFER

Richard J. Goldstein
Heat Transfer Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA

Abstract

Count Rumford, né Benjamin Thompson, had a highly productive and often controversial career. Though best known for his famous cannon boring experiments, he made important contributions to heat transfer. His quantitative and qualitative studies of conduction, convection and radiation led him to a number of important insights for the science of heat transfer. More an engineer than a scientist, he spent considerable effort applying his knowledge of heat transfer including clothing for all weathers, kitchen ranges, efficient pots and roasters, steam systems for comfort heating and manufacturing, pipe insulation and improved fireplaces. His important basic and applied research, and the diverse uses to which he was able to apply the knowledge he developed mark him as a key pioneer in the field of heat transfer.

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