A turbine is a rotary mechanical device that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work. A turbine is a turbomachine with at least one moving part called a rotor assembly, which is a shaft or drum with blades attached. Moving fluid acts on the blades so that they move and impart rotational energy to the rotor. Early turbine examples are windmills and waterwheels.
Gas, steam, and water turbines usually have a casing around the blades that contains and controls the working fluid. Credit for invention of the steam turbine is given both to the British engineer Sir Charles Parsons (1854–1931), for invention of the reaction turbine and to Swedish engineer Gustaf de Laval (1845–1913), for invention of the impulse turbine. Modern steam turbines frequently employ both reaction and impulse in the same unit, typically varying the degree of reaction and impulse from the blade root to its periphery.
The word "turbine" was coined in 1822 by the French mining engineer Claude Burdin from the Latin turbo, or vortex, in a memoir, "Des turbines hydrauliques ou machines rotatoires à grande vitesse", which he submitted to the Académie royale des sciences in Paris. Benoit Fourneyron, a former student of Claude Burdin, built the first practical water turbine.
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet which generates thrust by jet propulsion in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, and pulse jets. In general, most jet engines are internal combustion engines but non-combusting forms also exist.
In common parlance, the term jet engine loosely refers to an internal combustion airbreathing jet engine (a duct engine). These typically consist of an engine with a rotary (rotating) air compressor powered by a turbine ("Brayton cycle"), with the leftover power providing thrust via a propelling nozzle. These types of jet engines are primarily used by jet aircraft for long-distance travel. Early jet aircraft used turbojet engines which were relatively inefficient for subsonic flight. Modern subsonic jet aircraft usually use high-bypass turbofan engines which offer high speed with fuel efficiency comparable (over long distances) to piston and propeller aeroengines.