Leipzig: Verlag von Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1896. 1st Edition. Handsomely bound FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF BOLTZMANN’S MOST IMPORTANT WORKS. Vorlesungen über Gastheorie [Lectures on Gas Theory] is Boltzmann's “masterpiece of theoretical physics. This work can rightly be considered the peak of development achieved in the modern kinetic theory of gases” (Stanitz and Christie’s 2012 Auction). “Containing a comprehensive exposition of the kinetic theory of gases., Boltzmann combines rigorous mathematical analysis with a pragmatic treatment of physical and chemical applications” (Kac, Probability and Related Topics, 261).
“Ludwig Boltzmann (1844–1906) is generally acknowledged as one of the most important physicists of the nineteenth century. Particularly famous is his statistical explanation of the second law of thermodynamics” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
“Throughout his career, even in his works on subject other than kinetic theory, Boltzmann was concerned with the mathematical problems arising from the atomic nature of matter… Until the 1890’s, it seemed to be generally agreed among physicists that matter is composed of atoms, and Boltzmann’s concern about the consistency of atomic theories may have seemed excessive. But toward the end of the century, the various paradoxes—specific heats., reversibility, and recurrence—were taken more seriously as defects of atomism, and Boltzmann found himself cast in the role of principal defender of the kinetic theory and of the atomistic-mechanical viewpoint in general…” (DSB, II)
In 1894, Boltzmann attended a meeting of British physicists in London. There S.H. Burbury noted “that any two particles that collide would henceforth be correlated, a fact which would seem to eventually render invalid the assumption made by Maxwell and Boltzmann that particles are uncorrelated before collisions” (Brush, History of Kinetic Theory).
In 1894 and responding to Burbury, Boltzmann argued that, “while two particles that collide would henceforth be correlated, as they each undergo other collisions they would become less and less correlated. Hence, he asserts, the assumption that are uncorrelated before collisions is justified” (ibid).
In 1896, Boltzmann the first volume of his classic text, Lectures on Gas Theory, is published in German. Considered “one of the greatest books in the history of exact sciences,” a this work by Boltzmann contains a comprehensive exposition of the kinetic theory of gases that is still relevant today, nearly 100 years after its first publication. While the modifications of quantum mechanics have rendered some parts of the work obsolete, many of the topics dealt with still yield to the classical-mechanics approach outlined by Boltzmann; moreover, a variety of problems in aerodynamics, nuclear reactors, and thermonuclear power generation are best solved by Boltzmann's famous transport equation” (Gallavotti, Boltzmann’s Legacy, 129; Kac). The work deals with “the theory of gases with monatomic particles, whose dimensions are negligible compared to the mean free path. Topics include molecules as elastic spheres and as centers of force, external forces and visible motions of the gas and the repelling force between molecules” (ibid). A second work published in 1898 covers van der Waals' theory, the principles of general mechanics needed for a gas theory, gases with compound molecules, derivation of van der Waals' equation by means of the virial concept, theory of dissociation and supplements to the laws of thermal equilibrium in gases with compound molecules” (ibid). Item #1358
CONDITION & DETAILS: 8vo. Complete. , viii, , 5. Handsomely and tightly bound in three-quarter calf over marbled paper boards. 5 gilt-tooled raised bands at the spine; gilt-lettered black morocco spine label. Bright and clean throughout. Fine condition.