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Early Kinetic Theories of Gases

  • C. Truesdell

Abstract

That matter is composed of molecules in violent agitation, and that heat is a manifestation of that motion, are ideas of great age. The first definite measure of the heat of intestine motion was proposed by Hermann in 17161.

Keywords

Royal Society Kinetic Theory Social Democracy Rectilinear Motion Philosophical Magazine 
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Literatur

  1. Daniel Bernoulli is one of the most mysterious figures in the history of science, mysterious for no other reason than that nobody troubles to study through his works, while historians continue to attribute to him fame or blame for things he did not do or say. Much of the passage on the kinetic theory is printed in English translation in W. F. Magie’s A Source Book of PhysicsMcGraw-Hill, 1938, pp. 247–251; most of it, in an inaccurate English version by J. P. Berryman, is included in Kinetic Theory1 (ed. S. G. Brush), Pergamon Press, 1965. A German translation, with a note by P. du Bois-Reymond, was published in the Annalen der Physik 107=(4) 17490–494 (1859) and by A. Speiser, pp. 139–143 of Klassische Stücke der MathematikZürich and Leipzig, 1925.Google Scholar
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    R. J. Boscovich, Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis., Vienna, 1758. I have consulted only the revised edition of 1763, republished, with an English translation, by -J. M. Child, Open Court, 1922. Beyond that fact that Kelvin cited Boscovich as a predecessor in atomics, quite evidently only so as to make a generous gesture toward the past and without owing anything from his reading (if any) of what Boscovich wrote, I am unable to find any influence, let alone concrete achievement, in the treatise of the learned Slovenian Jesuit.Google Scholar
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  12. Cfalso E. Mendoza: “A sketch for the history of the kinetic theory of gases,” Physics Today14, 36–39 (1961). “The surprising history of the kinetic theory of gases,” Mem. Manchester Lit. Phil. Soc105, 1–14 (1962/3).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1968

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  • C. Truesdell

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