1844 – Boltzmann – bio

Ludwig Boltzmann was born in 1844 in Vienna, Austria and was a physicist and mathematician. He is considered to be the “father” of statistical mechanics for his work on the statistical nature of gases. Maxwell and Gibbs also contributed to this area independently. When most other scientists thought that atoms were only statistical theoretical constructs, the work by these three men laid the foundations for modern atomic theory. Boltzmann explained that the kinetic actions of gases could be explained by the theory of atoms and went on to show how the motion of the invisible atoms could be understood using probability. Boltzmann showed that there was a logarithmic relationship between probability and the entropy of a gas. This was later formalized by Planck.

One of Boltzmann’s equations that describes the statistical distribution of one particle in a fluid is known as the “Boltzmann Equation”. This equation is used to study fluid thermodynamics.

PRECURSOR:
1700 – Bernoulli (Daniel)
1766 – Dalton
1776 – Avogadro
1818 – von Hofmann
1821 – Loschmidt
1821 – Helmholtz
1824 – Kirchhoff
1822 – Clausius

CONCURRENT:
1831 – Maxwell
1839 – Gibbs
1849 – Klein
1854 – Poincare
1857 – Hertz

SUBSEQUENT:
1858 – Planck
1868 – Sommerfeld
1875 – Lewis
1887 – Schrodinger
1901 – Pauling
1916 – Shannon

SEE ALSO:
Mathematicians Solve 140-Year-Old Boltzmann Equation – [sciencedaily.com]

Pennsylvania mathematicians have found solutions to a 140-year-old, 7-dimensional equation that were not known to exist for more than a century despite its widespread use in modeling the behavior of gases.

Jacob Bronowski’s – The Ascent of Man (1973) Episode 10 – Worlds within Worlds – [youtube.com]

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
— William Blake

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