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'Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire,' along with other papers in this volume, laid the foundation of modern thermodynamics. Highly readable, 'Reflections' contains no arguments that depend on calculus, consisting mostly of statements couched in exact language. The title essay examines the relation between heat and the work done by heat in high- and low-pressure steam engines, air-engines, and an internal combustion machine. This English translation includes selections from Carnot's posthumous manuscripts and a paper by Rudolf Clausius that rewrote Carnot's results in a terminology that distinguished between change of entropy and quantity of heat.