boltzmanns atom

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Boltzmanns Atom

Author : David Lindley
ISBN : 9781501142673
Genre : Science
File Size : 30. 5 MB
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In 1900 many eminent scientists did not believe atoms existed, yet within just a few years the atomic century launched into history with an astonishing string of breakthroughs in physics that began with Albert Einstein and continues to this day. Before this explosive growth into the modern age took place, an all-but-forgotten genius strove for forty years to win acceptance for the atomic theory of matter and an altogether new way of doing physics. Ludwig Boltz-mann battled with philosophers, the scientific establishment, and his own potent demons. His victory led the way to the greatest scientific achievements of the twentieth century. Now acclaimed science writer David Lindley portrays the dramatic story of Boltzmann and his embrace of the atom, while providing a window on the civilized world that gave birth to our scientific era. Boltzmann emerges as an endearingly quixotic character, passionately inspired by Beethoven, who muddled through the practical matters of life in a European gilded age. Boltzmann's story reaches from fin de siècle Vienna, across Germany and Britain, to America. As the Habsburg Empire was crumbling, Germany's intellectual might was growing; Edinburgh in Scotland was one of the most intellectually fertile places on earth; and, in America, brilliant independent minds were beginning to draw on the best ideas of the bureaucratized old world. Boltzmann's nemesis in the field of theoretical physics at home in Austria was Ernst Mach, noted today in the term Mach I, the speed of sound. Mach believed physics should address only that which could be directly observed. How could we know that frisky atoms jiggling about corresponded to heat if we couldn't see them? Why should we bother with theories that only told us what would probably happen, rather than making an absolute prediction? Mach and Boltzmann both believed in the power of science, but their approaches to physics could not have been more opposed. Boltzmann sought to explain the real world, and cast aside any philosophical criteria. Mach, along with many nineteenth-century scientists, wanted to construct an empirical edifice of absolute truths that obeyed strict philosophical rules. Boltzmann did not get on well with authority in any form, and he did his best work at arm's length from it. When at the end of his career he engaged with the philosophical authorities in the Viennese academy, the results were personally disastrous and tragic. Yet Boltzmann's enduring legacy lives on in the new physics and technology of our wired world. Lindley's elegant telling of this tale combines the detailed breadth of the best history, the beauty of theoretical physics, and the psychological insight belonging to the finest of novels.

Ludwig Boltzmann

Author : Carlo Cercignani
ISBN : 9780191606984
Genre : Science
File Size : 47. 51 MB
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This book presents the life and personality, the scientific and philosophical work of Ludwig Boltzmann, one of the great scientists who marked the passage from 19th- to 20th-Century physics. 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. 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.

Boltzmann S Legacy

Author : Giovanni Gallavotti
ISBN : 3037190574
Genre : Science
File Size : 69. 71 MB
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Atomic Age America

Author : Martin V. Melosi
ISBN : 9781315509754
Genre : History
File Size : 81. 93 MB
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Atomic Age America looks at the broad influence of atomic energy¿focusing particularly on nuclear weapons and nuclear power¿on the lives of Americans within a world context. The text examines the social, political, diplomatic, environmental, and technical impacts of atomic energy on the 20th and 21st centuries, with a look back to the origins of atomic theory.

Anxiety And The Equation

Author : Eric Johnson
ISBN : 9780262348546
Genre : Science
File Size : 86. 25 MB
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A man and his equation: the anxiety-plagued nineteenth-century physicist who contributed significantly to our understanding of the second law of thermodynamics. Ludwig Boltzmann's grave in Vienna's Central Cemetery bears a cryptic epitaph: S = k log W. This equation was Boltzmann's great discovery, and it contributed significantly to our understanding of the second law of thermodynamics. In Anxiety and the Equation, Eric Johnson tells the story of a man and his equation: the anxiety-plagued nineteenth-century physicist who did his most important work as he struggled with mental illness. Johnson explains that “S” in Boltzmann's equation refers to entropy, and that entropy is the central quantity in the second law of thermodynamics. The second law is always on, running in the background of our lives, providing a way to differentiate between past and future. We know that the future will be a state of higher entropy than the past, and we have Boltzmann to thank for discovering the equation that underlies that fundamental trend. Johnson, accessibly and engagingly, reassembles Boltzmann's equation from its various components and presents episodes from Boltzmann's life—beginning at the end, with “Boltzmann Kills Himself” and “Boltzmann Is Buried (Not Once, But Twice).” Johnson explains the second law in simple terms, introduces key concepts through thought experiments, and explores Boltzmann's work. He argues that Boltzmann, diagnosed by his contemporaries as neurasthenic, suffered from an anxiety disorder. He was, says Johnson, a man of reason who suffered from irrational concerns about his work, worrying especially about opposition from the scientific establishment of the day. Johnson's clear and concise explanations will acquaint the nonspecialist reader with such seemingly esoteric concepts as microstates, macrostates, fluctuations, the distribution of energy, log functions, and equilibrium. He describes Boltzmann's relationships with other scientists, including Max Planck and Henri Poincaré, and, finally, imagines “an alternative ending,” in which Boltzmann lived on and died of natural causes.

Ludwig Boltzmann

Author : Engelbert Broda
ISBN : UOM:39015017191902
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 74. 35 MB
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Boltzmann S Tomb

Author : Bill Green
ISBN : 1934137359
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 25. 43 MB
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Bill Green travels to sites of scientific discovery around the globe and relates the stories of the scientists who lived and worked there.

Atoms Mechanics And Probability

Author : Olivier Darrigol
ISBN : 9780192548344
Genre : Science
File Size : 37. 93 MB
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One of the pillars of modern science, statistical mechanics, owes much to one man, the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906). As a result of his unusual working and writing styles, his enormous contribution remains little read and poorly understood. The purpose of this book is to make the Boltzmann corpus more accessible to physicists, philosophers, and historians, and so give it new life. The means are introductory biographical and historical materials, detailed and lucid summaries of every relevant publication, and a final chapter of critical synthesis. Special attention is given to Boltzmann's theoretical tool-box and to his patient construction of lofty formal systems even before their full conceptual import could be known. This constructive tendency largely accounts for his lengthy style, for the abundance of new constructions, for the relative vagueness of their object—and for the puzzlement of commentators. This book will help the reader cross the stylistic barrier and see how ingeniously Boltzmann combined atoms, mechanics, and probability to invent new bridges between the micro- and macro-worlds.

Uncertainty

Author : David Lindley
ISBN : 9780307389480
Genre : Science
File Size : 24. 54 MB
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The gripping, entertaining, and vividly-told narrative of a radical discovery that sent shockwaves through the scientific community and forever changed the way we understand the world. Werner Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle” challenged centuries of scientific understanding, placed him in direct opposition to Albert Einstein, and put Niels Bohr in the middle of one of the most heated debates in scientific history. Heisenberg’s theorem stated that there were physical limits to what we could know about sub-atomic particles; this “uncertainty” would have shocking implications. In a riveting and lively account, David Lindley captures this critical episode and explains one of the most important scientific discoveries in history, which has since transcended the boundaries of science and influenced everything from literary theory to television.

The Refrigerator And The Universe

Author : Martin Goldstein
ISBN : 0674753259
Genre : Science
File Size : 89. 90 MB
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This book explains the laws of thermodynamics for science buffs and neophytes alike. The authors begin with a lively presentation of the historical development of thermodynamics and then show how the laws follow from the atomic theory of matter. The authors then give examples of the laws applicability to such diverse phenomena as the radiation of light from hot bodies, the formation of diamonds from graphite, how the blood carries oxygen, and the history of the earth.

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