Reflections on Gibbs: From Statistical Physics to the Amistad

Por • 12 mar, 2014 • Sección: Educacion

Leo P. Kadanoff

Abstract: This note is based upon a talk given at a celebration in Austin Texas of the achievements of J. Willard Gibbs. J. Willard Gibbs, the younger, was the first American physical sciences theorist. He was one of the inventors of statistical physics. He introduced and developed the concepts of phase space, phase transitions, and thermodynamic surfaces in a remarkably correct and elegant manner. These three concepts form the basis of different areas of physics. The connection among these areas has been a subject of deep reflection from Gibbs’ time to our own. This talk therefore tries to celebrate Gibbs by talking about modern ideas about how different parts of physics fit together. At the end of the talk, I shall get to a more personal note. Our own J. Willard Gibbs had all his achievements concentrated in science. His father, also J. Willard Gibbs, also a Professor at Yale, had one great achievement that remains unmatched in our day. I shall describe it.

arXiv:1403.2460v1 [physics.hist-ph]

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