Most cars on the road today use a specific type of engine: a four-stroke piston engine. These engines can get somewhat complicated, and because they're usually built out of metal it can be tough to see what's going on. The folks over at Warped Perception have come up with a clever solution to this problem by building an engine with a clear cylinder head.
In the video above, the team builds a piston engine and fires it up while filming it in super slow motion. The result is that you can clearly see each step of the process as the engine goes through its cycle.
There are four visible parts in this engine. On the left is the piston moving up and down. On the right are the intake and exhaust valves (this is a flathead, valve-in-block engine design). Right in between them is the spark plug, which ignites the fuel.
RELATED STORYThis is a four-stroke engine, which means the full cycle has four steps. Step one is the intake valve opening and letting air and fuel into the chamber while the piston moves down. On step two, the piston moves up, compressing the fuel. On step three, the fuel is ignited, and the force of that ignition pushes the piston down again. And finally, step four sees the piston move upward again, forcing the exhaust out of the newly opened exhaust valve.
This is how a piston engine is supposed to work. Of course, it doesn't always work this way. The Warped Perception folks experiment with using isopropyl alcohol and acetylene as fuels instead of gas, and the engine clearly doesn't care too much for those.