Nicolaus Otto was born on June 14, 1832 in Holzhausen, Germany. His first occupation was as a traveling salesman selling tea, coffee, and sugar. He soon developed an interest in the new technologies of the day and began experimenting with building four-stroke engines. After meeting Eugen Langen, who was a technician and owner of a sugar factory, Otto quit his job, and in 1864, the duo started the world's first engine manufacturing company N.A. Otto & Cie. In 1867, the pair was awarded a Gold Medal at the Paris World Exhibition for their atmospheric gas engine built a year earlier.
In 1861, Otto patented a two-stroke engine that ran on gas. Otto and his partner, German industrialist Eugen Langen, built a factory and worked on improving the engine. Their two-stroke engine won a gold medal at the 1867 World's Fair in Paris. The company was named N.A. Otto & Cie., which was the first company to manufacture internal combustion engines. The company exists today as Klockner-Humbolt-Deutz AG, the oldest company manufacturing internal combustion engines and the world's largest manufacturer of air-cooled diesel engines.
An Otto cycle is an idealized thermodynamic cycle which describes the functioning of a typical spark ignition reciprocating piston engine. The Otto cycle consists of adiabatic compression, heat addition at constant volume, adiabatic expansion, and rejection of heat at constant volume. In the case of a four-stroke Otto cycle, there are two additional processes: one for the exhaust of waste heat and combustion products, and one for the intake of cool oxygen-rich air; however, these are often omitted in a simplified analysis. Even though these two processes are important to the functioning of a real engine, where the details of heat transfer and combustion chemistry are relevant, for the simplified analysis of the thermodynamic cycle, it is simpler and more convenient to assume that all of the waste-heat is removed during a single