Much Polyphony but Little Harmony: Otto Sackur's Groping for a Quantum Theory of Gases

Massimiliano Badino, Bretislav Friedrich

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The endeavor of Otto Sackur (1880-1914) was driven, on the one hand, by his interest in Nernst's heat theorem, statistical mechanics, and the problem of chemical equilibrium and, on the other hand, by his goal to shed light on classical mechanics from the quantum vantage point. Inspired by the interplay between classical physics and quantum theory, Sackur chanced to expound his personal take on the role of the quantum in the changing landscape of physics in the turbulent 1910s. We tell the story of this enthusiastic practitioner of the old quantum theory and early contributor to quantum statistical mechanics, whose scientific ontogenesis provides a telling clue about the phylogeny of his contemporaries. © 2013 Springer Basel.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)295-319
    JournalPhysics in Perspective
    Volume15
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013

    Keywords

    • Affinity
    • Chemical constant
    • Entropy
    • First Solvay Conference
    • Heat capacity
    • Heat theorem
    • Law of mass action
    • Phase space
    • Quantization
    • Quantum statistical mechanics
    • Quantum theory of gases
    • Sackur-Tetrode equation
    • Third law of thermodynamics

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