Scottish inventions and discoveries are objects, processes or techniques either partially or entirely invented or discovered by a person born in or descended from Scotland. In some cases, an invention's Scottishness is determined by the fact that it came into existence in Scotland (e.g., animal cloning), by non-Scots working in the country. Often, things that are discovered for the first time are also called "inventions" and in many cases there is no clear line between the two.
The Scots take enormous pride in the history of Scottish invention and discovery. There are many books devoted solely to the subject, as well as scores of websites listing Scottish inventions and discoveries with varying degrees of science.
A poppet valve (also called mushroom valve) is a valve typically used to control the timing and quantity of gas or vapour flow into an engine. It consists of a hole, usually round or oval, and a tapered plug, usually a disk shape on the end of a shaft also called a valve stem. The portion of the hole where the plug meets with it is referred as the 'seat' or 'valve seat'. The shaft guides the plug portion by sliding through a valve guide. In most applications a pressure differential helps to seal the valve and in some applications also open it. Poppet valves date from at least the 1770s, when James Watt used them on his beam engines.
Overhead camshaft, commonly abbreviated to OHC, is a valvetrain configuration which places the camshaft of an internal combustion engine of the reciprocating type within the cylinder heads ('above' the pistons and combustion chambers) and drives the valves or lifters in a more direct manner compared to overhead valves (OHV) and pushrods.
An overhead valve (OHV) engine, also informally called pushrod engine or I-head engine, is a type of piston engine that places the camshaft within the cylinder block (usually beside and slightly above the crankshaft in a straight engine or directly above the crankshaft in the V of a V engine), and uses pushrods or rods to actuate rocker arms above the cylinder head to actuate the valves. Lifters or tappets are located in the engine block between the camshaft and pushrods. The more modern overhead camshaft (OHC) design (still literally overhead valve) avoids the use of pushrods by putting the camshaft in the cylinder head.
In 1949, Oldsmobile introduced the Rocket V8. It was the first high-compression I-head design, and is the archetype for most modern pushrod engines. General Motors is the world's largest pushrod engine producer]citation needed[, producing both V6 and V8 pushrod engines.
A reciprocating engine, also often known as a piston engine, is a heat engine that uses one or more reciprocating pistons to convert pressure into a rotating motion. This article describes the common features of all types. The main types are: the internal combustion engine, used extensively in motor vehicles; the steam engine, the mainstay of the Industrial Revolution; and the niche application Stirling engine.
In an internal combustion engine, the cylinder head (often informally abbreviated to just head) sits above the cylinders on top of the cylinder block. It closes in the top of the cylinder, forming the combustion chamber. This joint is sealed by a head gasket. In most engines, the head also provides space for the passages that feed air and fuel to the cylinder, and that allow the exhaust to escape. The head can also be a place to mount the valves, spark plugs, and fuel injectors.
In a flathead or sidevalve engine, the mechanical parts of the valve train are all contained within the block, and the head is essentially a metal plate bolted to the top of the block; this simplification avoids the use of moving parts in the head and eases manufacture and repair, and accounts for the flathead engine's early success in production automobiles and continued success in small engines, such as lawnmowers. This design, however, requires the incoming air to flow through a convoluted path, which limits the ability of the engine to perform at higher revolutions per minute (rpm), leading to the adoption of the overhead valve (OHV) head design, and the subsequent overhead camshaft (OHC) design.
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel (normally a fossil fuel) occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine (ICE) the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy. The first commercially successful internal combustion engine was created by Étienne Lenoir.
The term internal combustion engine usually refers to an engine in which combustion is intermittent, such as the more familiar four-stroke and two-stroke piston engines, along with variants, such as the six-stroke piston engine and the Wankel rotary engine. A second class of internal combustion engines use continuous combustion: gas turbines, jet engines and most rocket engines, each of which are internal combustion engines on the same principle as previously described.
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of engineering, physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, production, and operation of machines and tools. It is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines.
The engineering field requires an understanding of core concepts including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity. Mechanical engineers use these core principles along with tools like computer-aided engineering, and product lifecycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices, weapons, and others.