Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot (1 June 1796 – 24 August 1832) was a French physicist and 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. He is often described as the "Father of thermodynamics", being responsible for such concepts as Carnot efficiency, Carnot theorem, Carnot heat engine, and others.

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