Scientific Discussion and Friendship between Loschmidt and Boltzmann

  • Dieter Flamm

Abstract

Loschmidt and Boltzmann most probably met for the first time in 1865 at the Physics Institute of Vienna University. Boltzmann was studying at the Institute and Loschmidt had just presented his famous paper “On the size of air-molecules”.1 Loschmidt had not followed a normal academic career. After working a few years in various chemical companies, he had returned to Vienna in 1855 and took exams qualifying him to be a high school teacher. Then he taught physics, chemistry and algebra in a high school in Leopoldstadt, a suburb of Vienna. In spite of his heavy teaching duties, he found time for scientific work. For the publication of his first two papers, “Chemical Studies”2 and his lecture “On the Constitution of the Ether”,3 he paid himself in spite of his modest salary as a high school teacher. Loschmidt then made the acquaintance of Josef Stefan, professor of physics at Vienna University. In Stefan he found a friend and promoter. Born in St. Peter near Klagenfurt, as the child of illiterate Slovenian parents, Stefan had a great understanding for Loschmidt’s problems. Although he was 14 years younger than Loschmidt, Stefan had already assisted Andreas von Ettingshausen from 1863 as Vice-director of the Physics-Institute. He made it possible for Loschmidt to publish his papers in the Proceedings of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

Keywords

Physics Institute Scientific Discussion High School Teacher Foreign Scientist Coffee Machine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Flamm
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of ViennaAustria

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