An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert one form of energy into mechanical energy. Heat engines burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to do work. Internal combustion engines are heat engines that burn fuel in a combustion chamber to extract work from the pressure of expanding gases. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical motion; pneumatic motors use compressed air; and clockwork motors in wind-up toys use elastic energy. In biological systems, molecular motors, like myosins in muscles, use chemical energy to create forces and eventually motion. The word engine derives from Old French engin, from the Latin ingenium–the root of the word ingenious. Pre-industrial weapons of war, such as catapults, trebuchets and battering rams, were called siege engines, and knowledge of how to construct them was often treated as a military secret. The word gin, as in cotton gin, is short for engine. Most mechanical devices invented during the industrial revolution were described as engines—the steam engine being a notable example. However, the original steam engines, such as those by Thomas Savery, were not mechanical engines but pumps.
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