- an ideal cycle of reversible engine operations in which a substance at one temperature is compressed adiabatically to a second temperature, expanded isothermally at the second temperature, expanded adiabatically from the second temperature to the first temperature, and compressed isothermally at the first temperature.
Origin of Carnot cycle
after N. L. S. Carnot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- an idealized reversible heat-engine cycle giving maximum efficiency and consisting of an isothermal expansion, an adiabatic expansion, an isothermal compression, and an adiabatic compression back to the initial state