The piston - Sketchplanations

The piston

An amazingly simple, and ridiculously useful and successful mechanism that converts linear motion to rotational motion. It’s basically what allows us to take a force produced by, say, steam, or an explosion, and make a wheel turn. Stick a few of these together and time the rotation of each correctly, carefully controlling the explosions and the exhaust and you have an internal combustion engine that powers our cars. There’s a lot amazing to me about it, but I am still impressed with how effectively it takes something moving back and forth, and makes something spin round, and vice versa.

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