A Carnot engine is called an ideal engine because it operates under the most efficient thermodynamic cycle possible. It is a theoretical construct that uses four steps to convert heat energy into work, and it is the only cycle that achieves maximum efficiency for a given temperature difference between the hot and cold reservoirs. This engine serves as an ideal model for comparison with real-world engines, as it highlights the limitations and inefficiencies of those engines. While it is technically impossible to build an engine that operates exactly like a Carnot engine, engineers strive to get as close as possible to that ideal in order to maximize efficiency and minimize waste.
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