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Einstein and the Quantum by A. Douglas Stone

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CHAPTER 5

THE PERFECT INSTRUMENTS OF THE CREATOR

The Boltzmann is magnificent,” Einstein wrote to Maric in September of 1900. “I am firmly convinced that the principles of his theory are right, … that in the case of gases we are really dealing with discrete particles of definite finite size which are moving according to certain conditions … the hypothetical forces between molecules are not an essential component of the theory, as the whole energy is kinetic. This is a step forward in the dynamical explanation of physical phenomena.” Einstein was reading Boltzmann’s Lectures on the Theory of Gases. The Viennese physicist Ludwig Boltzmann and Maxwell had developed a theory of gases in the 1860s with much the same content, but with the difference ...

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