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Journal Article

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

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons21529

Friedrich,  Bretislav
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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PIP-Sackur_19.12.12.pdf
(Any fulltext), 657KB

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Citation

Badino, M., & Friedrich, B. (2013). Much Polyphony but Little Harmony: Otto Sackur's Groping for a Quantum Theory of Gases. Physics in Perspective, 15(3), 295-319. doi:10.1007/s00016-013-0110-8.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-1990-2
Abstract
The endeavor of Otto Sackur (1880-1914) was driven, on the one hand, by his interest in Nernst’s theorem, statistical mechanics, and the problem of chemical equilibrium, and, on the other, 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. In this paper, 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.