# Efficiency

Efficiency is the capability of acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort. The term has widely variant meanings in different disciplines. See

In several of these cases, efficiency can be expressed as a result as percentage of what ideally could be expected, hence with 100% as ideal case. This does not always apply, not even in all cases where efficiency can be assigned a numerical value, e.g. not for specific impulse.

A slightly broader model of efficiency that nevertheless remains consistent with the "percentage" definition in many cases is to say that efficiency corresponds to the ratio r=P/C of the amount P of some valuable resource produced, per amount C of valuable resources consumed. This may correspond to a percentage if products and consumables are quantified in compatible units, and if consumables are transformed into products via a conservative process. For example, in the analysis of the energy efficiency of heat engines in thermodynamics, the product P may be the amount of useful work output, while the consumable C is the amount of high-temperature heat input. Due to the conservation of energy, P can never be greater than C, and so the efficiency r is never greater than 100% (and in fact must be even less at finite temperatures).

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