Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nikolaus August Otto (June 14, 1832 - January 28, 1891) was the German coinventor of the internal-combustion engine. As a young man he began experimenting with gas engines and in 1864 joined with two friends to form his own company. The company was named N.A. Otto & Cie. , which was the first company to manufacture internal-combustion engines. The company exists today as Klockner-Humbolt-Deutz AG .
His first atmospheric engine was completed in May 1867. Five years later he was joined by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach and together they produced the idea of the four-stroke cycle or Otto cycle.
First described in 1876, the stroke is an upward or downward movement of a piston in a cylinder. Otto's patent was invalidated in 1886 when it was discovered that another inventor, Alphonse Beau de Rochas , had already described the four-stroke cycle principle in a privately published pamphlet.
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