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Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann


BOLTZMANN, LUDWIG is Austrian physicist, one of the founders of the kinetic theory of matter and statistical mechanics.


Boltzmann, Ludwig Eduard was born on February 20, 1844 in Vienna.


Doctorate, Linz, Vienna.


Educated in Linz and Vienna, he held several professorships before he was appointed professor of physics at the University of Vienna, a position he held until his dealth.


  • Other Work

    • Main publications:(1891-1893) Vorlesungen über Maxwells Theorie der Elektricität und des Lichtes, 2 vols. Leipzig: J. A. Barth.(1896-1898) Vorlesungen über Gastheorie, Leipzig: J. A. Barth.(1903) Über die Prinzipien der Mechanik, Zwei akademische Antrittsreden (Leipzig, NovemberBonatelli1900, and Vienna. October 1902), Leipzig: S. Hirzel.(1905) Populäre Schriften, Leipzig: J. A. Barth. (1909) Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen, 3 vols, Leipzig: 1909.(1974) Theoretical Physics and Physical Problems, Dordrecht: Reidel.Secondary literature:Bicrhalter, G. (1990) ‘Cyclical representation of time’, Centaurus 33: 345-67.Broda, E. (1983) Ludw ig Boltzmann: Man, Physicist and Philosopher, Woodbridge, Conn.: Ox Bow Press.Curd, M. V. (1978) ‘Ludwig Bolzmann’s philosophy of science'. University of Pittsburgh PhD dissertation.Dagostino. S. (1990) ‘Boltzmann and Hertz on the Bild conception of physical theory’. History of Science 28: 380-98.Dilworth, C. (1990) ‘Empiricism versus realism’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 21:431-62.Dugas, R. (1959) La Theorie physique au sens de Boltzmann et ses prolongements modernes, Neuehätel: Editions de Griffon.Ehrenfest, P. and T. (1959) The Conceptual Founda- 'tons of the Statistical Approach in Mechanics, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Klein, M. J. (1974) Boltzmann Monocycles and Mechanical Explanation, Boston: Studies in the Philosophy of Science. II 155-75.Krüger. L„ et a/., (1981) Thermodynamics and Physical Reality II: Probabilistic Thinking, Dordrecht: Reidel.Keichenbach, H. (1956) The Direction of Time, Berkeley: University of California Press.


Boltzmann was a defender of physical atomism in he face of the instrumentalist and energeticist ‘^PPfoaches of the likes of W. Ostwald and E. Mach, and in the face of the incompatibility of classical molecular theory with the second law of hermodynamics. He did so by extending the statistical approach of Maxwell to the theory of gases in an attempt to explain the successes of e assical thermodynamics and to suggest the Possibility of fluctuations contrary to the second aw. This was soon to be borne out by the 11Coretical work of Einstein and the experimental '"'Ork of Perrin, but Boltzmann was by then dead.

. c seems to have held, contrary to many jhstrumentalists, that experimental facts were all hypothetical, and to a fallibilist epistemology

generally, and used this in arguments with Ostwald.


  • Philosophers & Thinkers

    Stefan, Loschmidt, Kelvin and Maxwell.

  • Other Interests