Three assistants on Boltzmann

Synthese 119 (1-2):69-84 (1999)
Abstract
The three demi-articles presented here would give a brief biographical account of Ludwig Boltzmann’s life plus some details about his Vienna laboratories first in the 1860’s in the Erdberg and second in Türkenstrasse from 1894. Josef Nabl’s account discusses J. J. Thomson’s Laboratory in Cambridge, which allows a provisional comparison between two different largely contemporary institutes. Nabl’s second letter also mentions Lord Kelvin’s late rejection of the kinetic gas theory of Maxwell and Boltzmann, rejection which on top of the negative attitude of Mach, Zermelo, and Poincaré probably did not benefit Boltzmann’s state of mind and may have contributed to the extreme character of Boltzmann’s anti-philosophical counterattack starting in 1903.
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