Hero (Heron) of Alexandria (AD 20-62)

A Greek mathematician, scientist and inventor who is mostly renowned for his works in mechanics, mathematics and physics. Although there were about 18 Greek writers under the name of Hero or Heron, this specific Greek scientist was known as Hero or Heron of Alexandria.

Heron is believed to have been born in Egypt in the year 20.

Most of his works were accomplished in Alexandria, Egypt. He developed many mechanical machines that had practical uses. They included a water organ, fire engine, a coin-operated device, and the aeolipile. The latter device was the earliest known steam-powered engine, which was a rotary steam engine that consisted of a sphere mounted on a boiler and having two canted nozzles to produce a rotary motion from the escaping steam. The siphon, known as Hero's fountain, was an instrument that produces a vertical jet of water by air pressure. The dioptra was a primitive surveying device.

Heron was well known for his studies in geometry (a branch of mathematics that studies the relationships, measurements and properties of points, lines, angles and solids) and in geodesy (a branch of mathematics that searches to determine the size and shape of earth, and the location of objects or areas on the earth).
One of his most important works was the collection of his books of Metrica, which was found in the year 1896. In Book I he portrays a derivation of Heron's formula that expresses the are of a triangle in terms of its sides. This formula originated from his attempt to demonstrate that the angle of incidence in optics is equal to the angle of reflection. Book II of the Metrica describes methods of calculating or finding the volumes of bodies such as cylinders, cones, pyramids, prisms, parallelepipeds, spheres, etc. Book III covers the division of volumes and areas into parts of given ratios. He also wrote books based on mechanics and other subjects. Among those are Automatopoietica, Pneumatica, Belopoeica, and Cheirobalistra.

Hero of Alexandria died in the year 62.

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Chapter 5: Thermodynamics
http://www.scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/thermo/thermo.html
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Chapter 5: Thermodynamics. Building simple heat engines. Hero's steam engine. A simple steam engine powered boat. A simple rotary steam engine. An engine driven by the heat of your hand. A bi-metal strip heat engine. A simple rocket engine you can build in your kitchen. Building a Film Can Cannon.

Steam engines
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/6914/
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The events and the men who led to the steam engine invention, with animations, diagrams and pictures.

The pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria
http://www.history.rochester.edu/steam/hero/index.html
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Translation from original greek