Person: Smoluchowski, Marian
Marian Smoluchowski was an Austrian physicist who was a pioneer of statistical physics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Marian attended the Collegium Theresianum in Vienna between 1880 and 1890.
- At this school Marian was at first attracted by the humanities and it was not until late in his school education that he became fascinated by physics and astronomy.
- With Fritz Hassenöhrl, Smoluchowski not only shared a love of physics (Hassenöhrl also became a physics professor) but also a love of climbing and a love of music.
- In 1890 Smoluchowski graduated from the Collegium Theresianum, being awarded his certificate with distinction, and entered the University of Vienna to study physics.
- An important influence on Smoluchowski was Boltzmann who moved back to Vienna in 1894 to the chair of theoretical physics which became vacant on the death of his teacher Josef Stefan.
- We should note here that during 1894-95 Smoluchowski had to spend time doing military service.
- Smoluchowski spent the two years studying abroad following the award of his doctorate.
- Leaving Glasgow, Smoluchowski then spent four months undertaking research in Berlin at the laboratory of Emil Warburg where he discovered the temperature discontinuity in rarefied gases.
- Smoluchowski was promoted to full professor of physics at Lviv in 1903.
- After spending the winter semester of 1905-06 at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, Smoluchowski was elected dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at Lviv, a post he held during the academic year 1906-07.
- Smoluchowski made many contributions to physics and mathematics, particularly to the theory of Brownian motion, stochastic processes and related problems, of which the most important are the 'Smoluchowski equations' bearing his name.
- Smoluchowski devoted his life to his scientific work making a very deliberate decision.
- Smoluchowski received many honours both for his scientific achievements and as an alpinist.
- Finally let us quote from Smoluchowski himself regarding his interest in climbing.
Born 28 May 1872, Vorderbrühl, near Vienna, Austria. Died 5 September 1917, Kraków, Poland.
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive