Ludwig Boltzmann

Picture of Ludwig Boltzmann

Date of Birth: 02/20/1844

Age: 62

Place of birth: Vienna

Citizenship: Austria


Ludwig Boltzmann (20/02/1844, Vienna - 09.05.1906, Duino, near Trieste), Austrian physicist, one of the founders of statistical physics and physical kinetics. A member of the Vienna Academy of Sciences (1895) and many academies in the world.

In 1866 Boltzmann graduated from the University of Vienna. In 1867, assistant professor of this university. Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Graz (1869-73), professor of mathematics at the University of Vienna (1873-1876), Professor of Experimental Physics of the University of Graz (1876-89). In 1889-94 he held the chair of theoretical physics at Munich, Vienna 1894-1900v in 1900-02 at Leipzig, and then in Vienna.

Scientific interests Boltzmann covers almost all the fields of physics (and a number of areas of mathematics). The author of works on mathematics, mechanics, hydrodynamics, elasticity theory, electromagnetic field theory, optics, thermodynamics and kinetic theory of gases. However, the most important are work on the kinetic theory of gases and statistical derivation of thermodynamics.

By applying statistical methods to the kinetic theory of ideal gases, Boltzmann gave the master equation of gases, which is the basis of physical kinetics. The most important to his credit - the study of irreversible processes and statistical interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics.

Boltzmann was a fervent follower of Maxwell`s electromagnetic theory. He owns the first experimental work to verify the validity of the conclusions of Maxwell`s electromagnetic field theory. He spent measuring the dielectric constant of gases and solids and established its relationship with the optical refractive index. His views on the Maxwell theory he outlined in his "Lectures on Maxwell`s theory of electricity and light" (1891-93).

In 1884 Boltzmann theoretically deduced the law of blackbody radiation, previously set by J. Stephen experimentally. This work played a major role in the development of the modern theory of radiation.

Boltzmann had to conduct an intense ideological struggle to defend the right of molecular-atomic theory of the existence; his works have not been adopted by a number of his countrymen. Perhaps this played a role in the tragic end: sick and depressed, he committed suicide.