The work on statistical mechanics by Ralph Fowler and his Cambridge group in the 1920s

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In the 1920s, quite a few scientists began to apply statistical mechanics to a variety of phenomena not previously explained with this physical theory. Some of these were considered to be of a quantum mechanical origin, such as atomic spectra, but many were more mundane phenomena of physics and chemistry, such as imperfect gases, solutions, crystals, conductors, surface films and liquids. In the subtitle of an influential 1929 book on statistical mechanics, statistical mechanics was presented as the theory of properties of matter in equilibrium. In the talk, the seminal contributions by Ralph Howard Fowler (1889-1944), the author of the book, and his group at Cambridge will be presented as an example of this movement of treating new phenomena. The basis of the groups work was a new technique (the Darwin-Fowler technique) developed in 1922-23 by Fowler and his colleague C. G. Darwin, which allowed the treatment of many such phenomena, including dissociation phenomena of chemistry and physics and imperfect gases. In the talk, the contributions of the group in this respect as well as their influence on subsequent developments in physics and chemistry will be studied.
Periode26 jul. 2021
Begivenhedstitel26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology
Grad af anerkendelseInternational