Ludwig Boltzmann: The Man Who Trusted Atoms

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Ludwig Boltzmann: The Man Who Trusted Atoms

Book Description Oxford University Press, Never used! This item is printed on demand. Carlo Cercignani. Publisher: Oxford University Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Ludwig Boltzmann arguably played the key role in establishing that submicroscopic structures underlie the ordinary world. Review : "Ludwig Boltzmann is the scientist to whom, more than anyone else, we owe the great conceptual leap that yielded a joint view of mechanics, statistics, radiation and thermodynamics This biography covers physics and kinetic theory before Boltzmann; his Darwinian theory of knowledge anticipating Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions; relationship with Maxwell, Planck, and other peers; and influence on modern science.

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Appends mathematical theorems and models. Includes a chronology, portraits, and diagrams related to his work. Carlo Cercignani's [book] is not about recent developments in nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. It may be described briefly as a careful, in-depth discussion of Boltzmann's science and personality and of the world he lived in Actually, Boltzmann's scientific ideas have retained immediacy because the development of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics has been slow There are, for instance, sensitive descriptions of the intellectual atmosphere of central Europe in the late 19th century It is refreshing to see the philosophy of science discussed not by a licensed hermeneutician but by a true scientist like Boltzmann, who is able to disregard formal details and go straight to the important ideas.

In the 's, Boltzmann was, in Cercignani's words, 'also busy with an experimental study on the law that according to the Maxwell picture related the dielectric constant and the refractive index of a given material. Thus they determined the dielectric constant at zero frequency.

Ludwig Boltzmann Life

The good agreement that Boltzmann found with the refractive index If Boltzmann had tried water, he would have been surprised. And then there were Boltzmann's travels from one university to another, especially during the 'restless years,' from to his suicide in I can recommend the book to anyone wanting to know more about Ludwig Boltzmann, a man who was misunderstood by many of his colleagues and yet highly respected Boltzmann's equation Boltzmann's work in statistical mechanics, the problem of polyatomic molecules, and his reflexions on other physical parts are described well The book contains an appendix, a reference list and a useful index.

It is a nice book The result is a book that can be highly recommended to all physical scientists and mathematicians, including graduate students. Cercignani, who is Professor of Theoretical Mechanics at the Politecnico di Milano, is well known for his research on the Boltzmann equation and is credited with several notable results, such as establishing the Boltzmann-Grad limit hierarchy Well-written chapters on Boltzmann's life and time and on the early history of thermodynamics and kinetic theory, and followed by chapters on his philosophical views, his relations with his contemporaries, his dispute with the anti-atomists, and his influence on 20th century science.

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Ludwig Boltzmann Carlo Cercignani. New paperback Quantity Available: Ludwig Boltzmann Cercignani, Carlo. Published by OUP Oxford New Quantity Available: 5. Published by Oxford University Press. His rich and tragic life, ending by suicide at the age of 62, is described in detail. A substantial part of the book is devoted to discussing his scientific and philosophical ideas and placing them in the context of the second half of the 19th century.


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  4. Book Review: Ludwig Boltzmann: The Man Who Trusted Atoms.

The fact that Boltzmann was the man who did most to establish that there is a microscopic, atomic structure underlying macroscopic bodies is documented, as is Boltzmann's influence on modern physics, especially through the work of Planck on light quanta and of Einstein on Brownian motion. Boltzmann was the centre of a scientific upheaval, and he has been proved right on many crucial issues.

He anticipated Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions and proposed a theory of knowledge based on Darwin. His basic results, when properly understood, can also be stated as mathematical theorems. Some of these have been proved: others are still at the level of likely but unproven conjectures. The main text of this biography is written almost entirely without equations. Mathematical appendices deepen knowledge of some technical aspects of the subject.

Read more Read less. Review It is valuable, not only for the wealth and scope of information it provides, but for offering an up-to-date view, accessible to all, of Boltzmann's scientific ideas. To get the free app, enter mobile phone number. See all free Kindle reading apps. Don't have a Kindle?

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No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. If seeking an 'easy' read, one will likely need to turn to another resource. The level of exposition is consistently high. This is a well written, richly detailed, assessment of Boltzmann's life and his science. The scholarship is impressive. Achieved here is an historical symbiosis between a scientists' life and his scientific work. The book offers a twofold presentation : the main text is devoid of mathematical detail, the Appendices 50 pages presents technical elaborations of the subject as stated in the preface.

The book, in its entirety, could be used as a textbook for a course on statistical mechanics from an historical, yet rigorous,viewpoint although, said course would be technically demanding as an introduction. The author beautifully enunciates the explicit use of probability for a gas with discrete energies. A note regarding the Appendices--they are of a technical nature and are quite demanding.

There are some gems: A Calculation of pressure in dilute gas: " we are computing not momentum, but momentum flow. B Liouville equation : A most remarkable derivation involving collisions, conservation laws and Jacobians page C Use of Boltzmann's inequality to derive Maxwell's distribution law page D Discussion of hourglass model pertaining to growth of entropy pages E Likelihood of a distribution: From discrete to continuous, use of Stirling's formula and induction pages F Canonical distribution for equilibrium states: A tour de Force, essentially two alternative derivations see page G A traditional derivation of Stefan-Boltzmann law, followed by derivation of Wien's law pages Concluding: Quite a splendid accomplishment.


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  • A duplicity of goals: modern considerations combined with historical accuracy. Professor Cercignani has amply fulfilled those goals. Recommended for alternative enrichment in statistical mechanics. This book is difficult to get through. Not particularly because of the complex subject matter described, rather because of the way it is presented. For example, the references are unnecessary since it is not a research paper. Secondly, there are constant references within the text such as 'in the previous chapter' or 'we will see in chapter 7' after almost every few paragraphs, which makes it quite annoying and detracts from the main points, while confusing the reader.

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