Papin, Denis

Papin, Denis dənē´ päpăN´ [key], 1647–1712?, French physicist and inventor. He was an assistant of Christian Huygens and of Robert Boyle and was professor of mathematics at the Univ. of Marburg (1687–96). He invented (1679) a steam digester (forerunner of the autoclave), a vessel in which the boiling point of water is raised by an increase in steam pressure this device demonstrated the influence of atmospheric pressure on boiling points. His other inventions include a safety valve (for the digester), a condensing pump, an air gun, and a paddle-wheel boat. A pioneer in the development of the steam engine, he devised in 1690 a pump with a piston raised by steam.

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