de Laval, Gustav Patrik (1845–1913)
Nowadays steam turbines are the preferred power source of electric power stations and large ships, although they usually have a different design – to make best use of the fast steam jet, de Laval's turbine had to run at an impractically high speed. But for rockets the de Laval nozzle was just what was needed.
After earning his PhD at age 27, de Laval worked as a technical engineer at a steel mill in his home village. In 1877, he began developing a high-speed centrifugal cream separator, a significant advance in butter-making. He perfected a vacuum milking machine in 1913. About 1882, he began his important work on steam engines and turbines.
Related categories HISTORY OF ROCKETRY
ROCKET ENGINEERS AND SPACE SCIENTISTS
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