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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Exemplary Short Scientific Biography, 18 Mar 2012
This review is from: Boltzmann's Atom: The Great Debate That Launched a Revolution in Physics (Hardcover)
The book is an exemplary short scientific biography of Ludwig Boltzmann who was a key figure in the development of statistical mechanics in the 2nd half of the 19th century. A strong feature is the balanced way in which Boltzmann's contribution is measured against those of the likes of Maxwell and Gibbs, though I think the author's touch is slightly less secure when he discusses the impact of Boltzmann's work on Planck, Einstein, and even Heisenberg. I enjoyed the discussion of the philosophical issues which then surrounded the existence of atoms, though I wonder if in this context the author's wish to explain does not involve too great a simplification of the views of Mach and his intellectual foes. Nonetheless, I recommend this book to everyone, whatever their background, interested in the scientists who set the scene for our present-day understanding.
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Boltzmann's Atom: The Great Debate That Launched a Revolution in Physics
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