Efficiency - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 8 pages of information about Efficiency.
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Origins and Abstractions

The term efficiency is derived from the Latin efficere ("to produce, effect, or make"). In his Physics, Aristotle sees causa efficiens as one of the four factors (along with formal, material, and final causation) that explain change. Traditionally, efficiency has been understood as the agency or power of something or someone to bring about results, to produce a desired effect. In this sense there was no clear distinction between efficiency, effectiveness, and efficacy until the second half of the nineteenth century, when the term was given a technical meaning in the field of engineering.

The contemporary technical concept of efficiency arose from analyses of engine performance, or what is known as thermodynamic efficiency. The performance of an engine was defined as a ratio of the useful work obtained to the energy (heat) used. At best, the maximal amount of energy obtained would be the same as...

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This section contains 2,208 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Efficiency Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Efficiency from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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