Talk:Ludwig Boltzmann

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High traffic

On 18 May 2010, Ludwig Boltzmann was linked from Slashdot, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)


The following passage:

especially on allegedly Darwinian grounds but actually in terms of Lamarck's theory of the inheritance of acquired characteristics that people inherited bad philosophy from the past and that it was hard for scientists to overcome such inheritance.

is out of place and a point of view: Darwin actually wrote books about the evolution of culture and of human knowledge while Lamarck not. If the author of the paragraph have difficulties in find similarity between Darwin and Boltzmann it is his problem. (talk) 17:25, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

How did he commit suicide? I heard that he killed himself with a gun. Is this true? 00:16, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

No. The MacTutor biography provides a little more detail. JdH 01:49, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

What year did he commit suicide?

The year of his death, I assume. :) But I'll repeat that fact at the relevant place in the article.
MacTutor has his deathdate as October 5 instead of September 5. Any idea which is correct? (talk) 04:09, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Every other page I checked, including Dieter Flamm, Carlo Cercignani (p. 34) and Britannica counter it. I think we can count on them. trespassers william (talk) 19:08, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the Boltzmann Equation section of the article is too heavy on the specifics of that equation, and too light on his biographical information. I think the equations should go into the relevent scientific articles, where they would feel more at home. In the Boltzmann article should be information about his life, family, schooling, etc. Ed Sanville 21:20, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree, but some of the information is historical and not scientific, so it needs to be handled a bit carefully. Suggestions? –Joke137 00:00, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Peronally, I think that putting the suicide front and center is a rather bad idea. Especially for scientist biographies, I would think that one would talk about his works before going into the morbid details... John Sheu 07:21, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Moreover, I very strongly disagree with the statement "The motivation behind the suicide remains unclear, but it may have been related to his lingering resentment over...." There is no way that you can "explain" suicide on the basis of some scientific dispute; that notion is totally unwarranted. A far more probably cause of the suicide is depression, but I do not know enough about Boltzmann's story to back that up, he may have suffered some other mental illness. So unless there is info to back that up (such as letters to his close friends) we have to stay away from that. But I would suggest to move that sentence about his suicide to a new paragraph "Final years" at the end, and edit out any notion at all that the suicide had to do with scientific disputes. JdH 17:41, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

bipolar disorder?[edit]

When I took physical chemistry the professor teaching the class said that Boltzmann had killed himself because his (European) peers severely rejected his thermodynamic ideas, but it was unknown to him that in the USA he was getting serious consideration of his ideas.

There seems to be a marketing interest to rewrite biographies of famous brillant people by giving them mental health labels. This is done to make the public more accepting of the expansion of mental health services, labels on people, and psych related drugs for marketing reasons. They do not want to validate to the victim of cruel treatment that people acting in groups can be cruel, so the psychologists try to appease the victim to accept the label by saying, look at Boltzmann or so and so, they were brillant, your in good company!

Wait a minute! The McTutor biography mentions: "... rapid swings between happiness and sadness"; that is a clear indication of bipolar disorder. That may explain a lot, and in particular the suicide. Maybe we should mention that in that paragraph "Final years"; something like this: It appears that he may have suffered from bipolar disorder. JdH 21:18, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Much of the physics establishment rejected his thesis about the reality of atoms and molecules — a belief shared, however, by Maxwell in Scotland...

Is this correct? Maxwell was Scottish, but he worked at Cambridge. 08:26, 24 April 2006
The Maxwell biography has the following:
In 1865, Maxwell moved to the estate he inherited from his father in Glenlair, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland. In 1868 he resigned his Chair of Physics and Astronomy at King's College, London.
In 1866, he statistically formulated, independently of Ludwig Boltzmann, the Maxwell-Boltzmann kinetic theory of gases.
So it looks like that Maxwell was indeed in Scotland at the time formulated his version of the kinetic theory. JdH 09:12, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Some problems with footnotes.[edit]

Footnote 4 in the text should be about the H-theorem, but instead it links to [3] in the footnotes, which is about Claude Shannon. There is also a footnote 3 in the text that appropriately links to [3]. The actual citation [4] in the footnotes appears to have no relevance. Also, footnote 6 does not seem to appear anywhere in the text.Chymicus 00:38, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

"Notable Students" ?[edit]

The box on the left-hand side of the article page has a caption for "notable students" of Boltzmann's...There are three listed - but Lise Meitner is left out. She is rather more famous than the other three - should she not be listed as well? Engr105th 07:21, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

This is Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit. If you can verify your info, then {{sofixit}}. :-) Ling.Nut 09:52, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Lol! You are quite correct:)... Just noticed that the "notable students" list on the right is now "doctoral students" or some such. I can't recall if Meitner got her PhD under Boltzmann, but will try to find out...regardless, there was a strong connection between the two as Boltzmann taught most of Meitner's undergrad physics courses...Engr105th (talk) 23:31, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Need for Correction?[edit]

The sentence: "laly was appointed to the Chair of Theoretical Physics at the University of Munich in Bavaria, Germany in 1890." doesn't look right to me. Maybe someone can see how to successflly improve it. AussieOzborn 07:18, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

The meaning of wahrscheinlichkeit[edit]

"We must consider 'probability' as relative (a posteriori) frequency of occurrence...", Wolfgang Pauli, Statistical Mechanics (Vol. 4 Pauli Lectures on Physics), p. 21 --Jbergquist 03:07, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Boltzmann's statement concerning entropy was, "But the quantity is in our case, where the ratio of specific heats is 1 2/3, in fact the total entropy of all the gases." R was earlier defined by , relating the mean square velocity of a gas molecule to the temperature, and "M is the mass of a hydrogen molecule." -Boltzmann, Ludwig (1995). Lectures on Gas Theory. Dover. ISBN 0-486-68455-5., p. 74

A footnote on p. 65 of the same work concerning the most probable velocity of a molecule states "the subscript w stands for wahrscheinlichste, 'most probable.'" Frequency and probability seem to be confused here also. Expectation may be closer than probability as a translation for wahrscheinlichkeit. --Jbergquist 18:12, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Need for section on Boltzmann's influence on Information Theory?[edit]

I'm thinking that the influence of Boltzmann's definition of entropy on Information Theory is important enough to mention in his biography. Comments? ThreePD (talk) 14:43, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

k ln(W)[edit]

I may be wrong but is it not true that he commited suicide because the physics community of the time would not believe the entropy equation and therefore this led to his death and the reason the equation is on his tombstone as a final act of stubboness?

I believe it had a lot to do with the ridicule he suffered from his ignorant colleagues who rejected the existence of atoms and molecules.
It sure would be nice if the IUPAC named one of the heavier synthetic elements after him. 'Boltzmannium'? 'Boltzium' sounds better but I think it's supposed to contain his full last name, like Rutherford-ium or Einstein-ium. - (talk) 02:20, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I think Boltzmann's constant is ample honor. It is one of the fundamental constants of Physics. I use it almost daily. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

hanged vs. hung[edit]

I have reverted this edit several times already, so I post a short explanation here (based on Longman's dictionary):

  • hung — past tense of hang as in Philip hung his coat, The entrance hall was hung with rich tapestries
  • hanged — past tense of hang as in Corey hanged himself in his prison cell, He was hanged for murder.

Sasha (talk) 04:49, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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portrait picture[edit]

Somebody messed with his glasses, his eyes are way too large! A pic search confirms it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:45, 28 June 2018 (UTC)