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Rolls-Royce UTC

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

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How does a Jet Engine work?

How does a Jet Engine work?

For cars on the ground creating a force to drive us forward is simple: the engine makes the wheels turn, that push off the ground driving the car forward. For planes in flight, there is nothing to push off, so a different principle is required to create propulsion.

Imagine you’re standing on a skateboard holding a fire extinguisher. If you were to open the fire extinguisher you would create a stream of gas, which would propel you in the opposite direction. Sir Issac Newton, first described the science underlying this principle, back in the 17th century in his three laws of motion. The turbine engine works on the same principle – by forcing air quickly out of the back of the engine it creates a force pushing the plane forwards. In order to create this fast moving stream of gas, the jet turbine engine is used. This works on the model of ‘Suck-Squeeze-Bang-Blow’. The diagram below shows an example of engine with the various parts and their purpose labelled.Jet Engine Explained


Also check out the following video from our colleagues the Naked Scientists:

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Dr. Lewis Owen appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship at Gonville & Caius College Cambridge

Jan 24, 2018

Dr. Lewis Owen has been appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship commencing in October 2018 at Gonville & Caius College Cambridge. We look forward to many more years of high quality research into the wonderful world of short range order.

Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology Visit

Jan 17, 2018

We had a fantastic time today hosting the uber-talented students from the Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology. We believe sharing some of our research and encouraging as many people as possible to consider STEM careers is a key responsibility for any scientist/engineer.

PhD studentships now available within the group

Jan 09, 2018

Navigate onto our vacancies page to find out more!

Strategic Partnership with Rolls-Royce shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award 2017

Oct 03, 2017

The Rolls-Royce partnership with the universities of Cambridge, Swansea and Birmingham has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award 2017. Find out more here:

New high temperature thermocouple

Nov 14, 2016

Dr. Michele Scervini has developed a new thermocouple for high-temperature applications