In order to consider in the most general way the principle of the production of motion by heat, it must be considered independently of any mechanism or any particular agent. It is necessary to establish principles applicable not only to steam engines but to all imaginable heat-engines , whatever the working substance and whatever the method by which it is operated.
?Machines which do not receive their motion from heat... can be studied even to their smallest details by the mechanical theory. ...A similar theory is evidently needed for heat-engines. We shall have it only when the laws of Physics shall be extended enough, generalized enough, to make known beforehand all of the effects of heat acting in a determined manner on any body.