Boltzmann and his contemporaries
Some important aspects of the relations between Ludwig Boltzmann and several great scientists who were his contemporaries have already been discussed in the previous chapters. These contemporaries include James Clerk Maxwell, Josef Stefan, Robert Bunsen, Leo Konigsberger, Gustav Kirchhoff, Hermann von Helmholtz, Josef Loschmidt, H.A. Lorentz, John Rayleigh, Wilhelm Ostwald, Ernst Mach, Paul Ehrenfest, Stefan Mayer, Lise Meitner, Svante Arrhenius, and Walter Nernst. Other names which have occasionally appeared are those of Josiah Willard Gibbs, Henri Poincaré, Max Planck, Heinrich Hertz, and Ernst Zermelo. There is more than enough to belie the idea of a Boltzmann isolated from the science of his days. Yet it is a fact that his scientific position appears to be rather singular and almost isolated in the framework of the scientific research of his century. This chapter is devoted to the problem of singling out the objective data and motivation of this circumstance.
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