19 April 2009

Thermodynamics

Last update: 12.IV.2011

1650

Otto von Guericke - builds the first vacuum pump

Title:
Source:
1660

Robert Boyle - experimentally discovers Boyle's Law, relating the pressure and volume of a gas

Title: (1660)New Experiments Physico-Mechanical: Touching the Spring of the Air and their Effects
Language: English
Format: jpeq
Source: nausikaa2.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de

1665

Robert Hooke - stated: "Heat being nothing else but a very brisk and vehement agitation of the parts of a body"

Title:
Source:

1669

Johann Becher - puts forward a theory of combustion involving "combustible earth" (Latin terra pinguis).

Title: Physical Education
Source:

1689


Gottfried Leibniz - develops the concept of vis viva, a limited version of the conservation of energy

Title:
Source:

1679

Denis Papin - designed a "steam digester" which inspired the development of the piston-and-cylinder steam engine.

Steam digester

Title:
Source:

(1680) Continuation of New Experiments
(1690) A New Method of Obtaining Very Great Moving Powers at Small Cost, , Acta Eruditorum of Leipsig

1697

Georg Ernst Stahl - names Becher's combustible earth as "phlogiston" and develops the theory

Title: ???
(1697) Zymotechnia fundamentalis sive fermentalionis theoria generalis
Source:

1698


Thomas Savery - patented an early steam engine

Title: A new invention for raiseing of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for drayning mines, serveing townes with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefitt of water nor constant windes
Source: ???

described in:

Title: The Miner's Friend; or, An Engine to Raise Water by Fire
Source 1: Google Books
Source 2: Google Books

1699

Guillaume Amontons - formulated Amontons' law, p = constant / T.

Title:
Source:

1702

Guillaume Amontons - introduces the concept of absolute zero, based on observations of gases

Title:
Source:

1738

Daniel Bernoulli - the first kinetic theory

Title: (1738) Hydrodynamica
Language: Latin
Format: jpeq
Source: European Cultural Heritage Online

1757

Jean-André Deluc
- discovers that ice absorbs heat without changing its temperature when melting

Title: (1787) Neue Ideen über die Meteorologie
Source vol.1: European Cultural Heritage Online
Source vol.2: European Cultural Heritage Online
Source vol.1: Google Books

1761

Joseph Black - discovers that ice absorbs heat without changing its temperature when melting, latent heat, specific heat

Title: (1803) Lectures on the elements of chemistry
Source vol.1: Gallica
Source vol.2: Gallica

1772

Daniel Rutherford - discovers nitrogen, which he calls phlogisticated air, and together with Black they explain the results in terms of the phlogiston theory

Title:
Source:

1776

John Smeaton - publishes a paper on experiments related to power, work, momentum, and kinetic energy, supporting the conservation of energy

Title: An Experimental Examination of the Quantity and Proportion of Mechanic Power Necessary to be Employed in Giving Different Degrees of Velocity to Heavy Bodies from a State of Rest
Source: Gallica - Phil. Trans., 1776, vol.66, p.450

1777

Carl Scheele - distinguishes heat transfer by thermal radiation from that by convection and conduction

Title: ??? Chemische Abhandlung von der Luft und dem Feuer
Title_en: A Chemical Treatise on Air and Fire
Language: German
Format: djvu, pdf
Source: Internet Archive

1783

Antoine Lavoisier - discovers oxygen and develops an explanation for combustion; in his paper "Réflexions sur le phlogistique", he deprecates the phlogiston theory and proposes a caloric theory

Title: Réflexions sur le phlogistique, pour servir de développement à la théorie de la combustion & de la calcination
Source: Gallica - Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences, 1783, p.505

1784

Jan Ingenhousz - describes Brownian motion of charcoal particles on water
[photosynthesis]

Title: Vermischte Schriften Phisisch-Medicinische Inhalts
in Remarks on the use of the microscope
Source: ??? - Wappler, Vienna, vol.2, p.123 (1784); J. Ingenhousz, J. Philos. 26, 339 (1785).

1791

Pierre Prévost - shows that all bodies radiate heat, no matter how hot or cold they are

Title:
Source:

Title: (1792) Recherches physico-mecaniques sur la chaleur
Source: Internet Archive

Title: (1809) Essai sur le calorique rayonnant
Source: ???

1798

Benjamin Thompson /Count Rumford/ - performs measurements of the frictional heat generated in boring cannons and develops the idea that heat is a form of kinetic energy; his measurements refute caloric theory, but are imprecise enough to leave room for doubt

Title: An Inquiry Concerning the Source of Heat which is Excited by Friction
Source: Gallica - Philosophical Transactions, 1798, Vol.88, , p.80

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Title: New experiments upon heat
Source: - Philosophical Transactions, 1786, vol.76, p.273

Title: Experiments upon heat
Source: Gallica - Philosophical Transactions, 1792, vol.82, p.48

Title: On the propagation of heat in fluids
Source: - Nicholson's Journal, 1797, 1, p.298

Title: An enquiry concerning the nature of heat and the mode of its communication
Source: Philosophical Transactions, 1804, vol.94 , p.77

Title: The Complete Works of Count Rumford
Source vol.1: Internet Archive - The Nature of Heat
Source vol.2: Internet Archive - Practical Applications of Heat
Source vol.3: Internet Archive - Devices and Techniques
Source vol.4: Internet Archive - Light and Armament
Source vol.5: Internet Archive ??? - Public Institutions

1802

Joseph Gay-Lussac - publishes Charles's law, discovered (but unpublished) by Jacques Charles around 1787; this shows the dependency between temperature and volume. Gay-Lussac also formulates the law relating temperature with pressure (the pressure law, or Gay-Lussac's law)

Title: Recherches sur la dilatation des gaz et des vapeurs
Source: ??? - Annales de chimie, vol.43, p.137

1804

John Leslie - observes that a matte black surface radiates heat more effectively than a polished surface, suggesting the importance of black body radiation

Title: An Experimental Enquiry into the Nature and Propagation of Heat
Source 1: Google Books - missing pages
Source 2: ???

1805

William Wollaston - defends the conservation of energy in "On the Force of Percussion"

Title: On the Force of Percussion
Source: Gallica - Philosophical Transactions, 1806, vol.96, p.13

1807

Joseph Gay-Lussac -

Title: (1807) First Attempt to Determine the Changes in Temperature which Gases Experience owing to changes of Density, and Considerations of their Capacity for Heat
Language: English
Format: djvu, pdf
Source: Internet Archive - Memoires d’Arcueil, I.

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Title: The free expansion of gases
Language: English
Format: djvu
Source: www.archive.org

Title: The Expansion of Gases by Heat
Language: English
Format: djvu
Source: www.archive.org

Joseph Fourier - submits his first manuscript on the dynamics of heat to the Institut de France . It is rejected.


1808

John Dalton - defends caloric theory in "A New System of Chemistry ??? " and describes how it combines with matter, especially gases; he proposes that the heat capacity of gases varies inversely with atomic weight

Title: A new system of chemical philosophy
Description:
Notes:
Language: English
Format: djvu
Source vol.1: Internet Archive
Source vol.2: Internet Archive

1810

John Leslie - freezes water to ice artificially

Title: ???
Source:

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Title: (1813) A Short Account of Experiments and Instruments depending on the relations of Air to Heat and Moisture
Title: Internet Archive

Title: (1818) On certain impressions of cold transmitted from the higher atmosphere, with an instrument (the aethrioscope) adapted to measure them
Source: Google Books - Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1818, vol.8, p.465

1813

Peter Ewart - supports the idea of the conservation of energy in his paper "On the measure of moving force"; the paper strongly influences Dalton and his pupil, James Joule

Title: On the measure of moving force
Source: Internet Archive - Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, 2nd ser., vol.2, p.105

1819

Pierre Dulong and Alexis Petit - give the Dulong-Petit law for the specific heat capacity of a crystal

Title: (1819) Recherches sur quelques points importants de la Théorie de la Chaleur
Source: ??? - Annales de Chimie et de Physique, vol. 10, 1819, p.395

English translation:
Title: Research on some important aspects of the theory of heat
Source: Carmen Giunta - Annals of Philosophy 14, 189 – 198 (1819).

Joseph Fourier - applies his theory to the cooling of the earth.

Title:
Source:
1820

John Herapath - develops some ideas in the kinetic theory of gases but mistakenly associates temperature with molecular momentum rather than kinetic energy; his work receives little attention other than from Joule

Title: On the Causes, Laws, and principal Phaenomena of Heat, Gases, Gravitation, &c
Source: Internet Archive - Annals of Philosophy, 1821, p.273

Title: Mathematical physics
Source vol.1: Google Books
Source vol.2: Internet Archive

1821

Thomas Seebeck - discovered the thermoelectric effect

Title:
Source:
1822

Joseph Fourier - formally introduces the use of dimensions for physical quantities in his "Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur"

Title: Théorie analytique de la chaleur
Language: French
Format: djvu, pdf
Source: Internet Archive

Title: (1822)The analytical theory of heat
Language: English
Format: djvu, pdf
Source: Internet Archive

Marc Séguin - writes to John Herschel supporting the conservation of energy and kinetic theory

Title:
Source:

1824

Sadi Carnot - analyzes the efficiency of steam engines using caloric theory; he develops the notion of a reversible process and, in postulating that no such thing exists in nature, lays the foundation for the second law of thermodynamics, and initiating the science of thermodynamics

Title: (1824) Reflections on the motive power of heat
Language: English
Format: djvu
Source: Internet Archive

1827

Robert Brown - discovers the Brownian motion of pollen and dye particles in water

Title: (1827) A brief account of microscopical observations made in the months of June, July and August, 1827, on the particles contained in the pollen of plants; and on the general existence of active molecules in organic and inorganic bodies
Source 1: Google Books - The Philosophical Magazine, 1828, vol.4, p.161-173.
Source 2: Internet Archive - The miscellaneous botanical works of Robert Brown, vol.1, p.463

Title: (1829) Additional remarks on active molecule
Source: Google Books - The Philosophical magazine, 1829, vol.6, p.161

Source: Universität Augsburg - (1827) and (1829) papers
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Title: The miscellaneous botanical works of Robert Brown
Source vol.1: Internet Archive
Source vol.2: Internet Archive

1831

Macedonio Melloni - demonstrates that black body radiation can be reflected, refracted, and polarised in the same way as light

Title: ???
Source:

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Title: La thermochrôse ou la coloration calorifique
Language: French
Source: Google Books

1834

Émile Clapeyron - popularises Carnot's work through a graphical and analytic formulation. He also combined Boyle's Law, Charles's Law, and Gay-Lussac's Law to produce a Combined Gas Law. PV/T = k

Title: Mémoire sur la puissance motrice de la chaleur
Source: Gallica - Journal de l'École Royale Polytechnique, 1834, cahier 22, Tome 14, p.153

Title_en: Driving force of the heat
Source:

1843 - further developed the idea of a reversible process, already suggested by Carnot and made a definitive statement of Carnot's principle, what is now known as the second law of thermodynamics.

1841

Julius Robert von Mayer - an amateur scientist, writes a paper on the conservation of energy, but his lack of academic training leads to its rejection

Title: Über Die Quantitative and Qualitative Bestimmung der Kräfte
Title_en: On the Quantitative and Qualitative Determination of Force
Source:

James Joule -

Title: On the heat evolved by metallic conductors of electricity
Source: - Philosophical Magazine, 19, 260; Scientific Papers 65

1842

Julius Robert von Mayer - makes a connection between work, heat, and the human metabolism based on his observations of blood made while a ship's surgeon; he calculates the mechanical equivalent of heat

Title: Bemerkungen über die Kräfte der unbelebten Natur
Source: ??? - Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie 42, 233 (1842).

English translation:
Title: Remarks on the Forces of Inorganic Nature
Source: Carmen Giunta

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(1845) Die organische Bewegung im Zusammenhang mit dem Stoffwechsel (The Organic Movement in Connection with the Metabolism) - he specified the numerical value of the mechanical equivalent of heat.

Die Mechanik der Wärme: In gesammelten Schriften
Source: Google Books

The Correlation and Conservation of Forces: A Series of Expositions
Source: Internet Archive

William Grove - demonstrates the thermal dissociation of molecules into their constituent atoms, by showing that steam can be disassociated into oxygen and hydrogen, and the process reversed

Title: On a Gaseous Voltaic Battery
Source 1: Case Western Reserve University - Philosophical Magazine, Series 3, vol.21, p.140, p.417— 420
Source 2:



1843


John Waterston - fully expounds the kinetic theory of gases, but is ridiculed and ignored

Title: (1843) Thoughts on the Mental Functions
Source: ???

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J.J. Waterston, "On the physics of media that are composed of free and perfectly elastic molecules in a state of motion", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, vol. 183 (1892), pp. 1–79.


James Joule - experimentally finds the mechanical equivalent of heat

Title: On the heating effects of magneto-electricity and on the mechanical value of heat
Source: - Philosophical Magazine, Series III, Vol. 23 (1843) p. 263, 347, 435

(1843). "On the calorific effects of magneto-electricity, and on the mechanical value of heat". Philosophical Magazine, Series 3 23: 263–276.


1845

Henri Regnault - added Avogadro's Law to the Combined Gas Law to produce the Ideal Gas Law. PV = nRT

Title: ???
Source:

Ann. phys chim.,(Ser. 3), 15, 1845, 129–136

James Joule -

Title: Temperature changes by expansion and compression of air
Source: - Philosophical Magazine Series III, 26 (1845) p. 369

Title: On the existence of an equivalence relation between heat and the ordinary forms of mechanical power
Source: - Philosophical Magazine. Series III, Vol. 27 (1845), p. 205

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(1845). "On the Changes of Temperature Produced by the Rarefaction and Condensation of Air". Philosophical Magazine, Series 3 (Harper & brothers) 26: 369.
(1845) "On the rarefaction and condensation of air" Philosophical Magazine, Scientific Papers 172
(1845) "On the Mechanical Equivalent of Heat", Brit. Assoc. Rep., trans. Chemical Sect, p.31, read before the British Association at Cambridge, June
(1850) "On the mechanical equivalent of heat," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, vol.140, Part 1, pages 61-82.

1846

Hermann Knoblauch -

Title: De calore radiante disquisitiones experimentis quibusdam novis illustratae
Source: Google Books -

William Grove - publishes an account of the general theory of the conservation of energy in "On The Correlation of Physical Forces"

Title: On The Correlation of Physical Forces
Source: Internet Archive


1847

James Joule -

Title: (1847) On Matter, Living Force, and Heat
Note: stated the principle of conservation of energy
Source: Internet Archive - "The scientific papers of James Prescott Joule", vol.1, p.265

Title: The scientific papers of James Prescott Joule
Source vol.1: Internet Archive
Source vol.2: Internet Archive

Hermann Helmholtz - publishes a definitive statement of the conservation of energy, the first law of thermodynamics


Title: On the conservation of force - article in Popular lectures on scientific subjects
Note: asserts the law of conservation of energy and that thermal energy is a form of mechanical energy.
Language: English
Format: djvu
Source: Internet Archive

(1847)Über die Erhaltung der Kraft [On the Conservation of Force]

Henri Regnault -

Title: Relations des experiences … pour determiner les principales lois et les donnees numeriques qui entrent dand le calcul des machines a vapeur
Title_en: Experimental Relations … to determine the Main Laws and Numerical Data Entering into the Calculations of Steam Machines
Source: - Memoires de l’Academie des Sciences de l’Institute de France, Paris, Vol. 21, (pgs. 1-748).

1848

William Thomson /Lord Kelvin/- extends the concept of absolute zero from gases to all substances

Title: On an Absolute Thermometric Scale Founded on Carnot's Theory of the Motive Power of Heat
Source: - (pgs. 100-06), Cambridge Philosophical Society Proceedings for June 5; and Phil. Mag., Oct. 1848.
Sir William Thomson, Mathematical and Physical Papers, vol. 1 (Cambridge University Press, 1882), pp. 100-106.]

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Title: Scientific papers, 6 volumes
Language: English
Format: djvu
Source vol.1: gallica.bnf.fr
Source vol.2: gallica.bnf.fr
Source vol.3: gallica.bnf.fr
Source vol.4:
Source vol.5: www.archive.org
Source vol.6: www.archive.org

1849

William Rankine - calculates the correct relationship between saturated vapour pressure and temperature using his hypothesis of molecular vortices

Title: ???
Source:

Title: Miscellaneous scientific papers
Source : Internet Archive

(1881). Miscellaneous Scientific Papers, (III: “On the Centrifugal Theory of Elasticity, as applied to Gases and Vapours”, pgs. 16-48, IV: “On the Centrifugal Theory of Elasticity and its connection with the Theory of Heat”, pgs. 49-66). C. Griffin and Co.
(1850) Rankine to Thomson, 19 Aug. 1850, R18, Kelvin Collection, ULC; Rankine 1881: 234 [1853].
(1851). “On Elasticity”, Camb. and Dub. Math. Journ.

molecular vortices:

James Forbes -

???

An Index to the correspondence and papers of James David Forbes, 1809-1868, and also to some papers of his son, George Forbes


Thomas Graham -

(1833)(1842)
Elements of Chemistry
Source: Internet Archive

(1858). Elements of Inorganic Chemistry, (section: “Nature of Heat”, p. 96-97)
Source: Internet Archive

James C. Maxwell
(1862). “On Physical Lines of Force” (Part III: “The Theory of Molecular Vortices applied to Statical Electricty”, pgs. 12-24), Philosophical Magazine, Taylor and Francis.
(1878). “Tait’s ‘Thermodynamics’ (I)”, (pgs. 257-59). Nature, Jan. 31.
(1878). “Tait’s ‘Thermodynamics’ (II)”, (pgs. 278-81). Nature, Feb. 07.


Helmholtz
(1858) paper "Vortex motion" vortex rings

Tait verified Helmholtz's theoretical claims with experiments with smoke rings in 1867

The idea led Tait, Thomson and Maxwell to begin to work on knot theory

Listing's 1847 contributions to knot theory.

Tait published seven papers on knots in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in the academic year 1876-77. (Life and Scientific Work of Peter Guthrie Tait )

William Thomson

(1867). “On Vortex Atoms” [URL], Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. VI, 1867, pp. 94-105. (reprinted in Phil. Mag. Vol. XXXIV, 1867, pp. 15-24).
(1883). “On a Theory of the Electric Discharge in Gases”, The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, (pgs. 427-34).

Thomson, J.J.
(1936). Recollections and Reflections (ref. 11), pg. 95.
(1881) On the Vibrations of a Vortex Ring, and the Action upon each other of Two Vortices in a Perfect Fluid., PTRS, 1882, v.173, стр.493-521.
(1885) The Vortex Ring Theory of Gases. On the Law of the Distribution of Energy among the Molecules, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Volume 39, pp. 23-36
(1885)On the Formation of Vortex Rings by Drops falling into Liquids, and some allied Phenomena., Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. 1885, pp.417-436


1878 Alfred Mayer

1850

William Rankine - uses his vortex theory to establish accurate relationships between the temperature, pressure, and density of gases, and expressions for the latent heat of evaporation of a liquid; he accurately predicts the surprising fact that the apparent specific heat of saturated steam will be negative.

Title: On the Centrifugal Theory of Elasticity, as Applied to Gases and Vapours
Source:

On the Mechanical Action of Heat, especially in Gases and Vapours

Rudolf Clausius - gives the first clear joint statement of the first and second law of thermodynamics, abandoning the caloric theory, but preserving Carnot's principle.

Title: Über die bewegende Kraft der Wärme
Note: first stated the basic ideas of the second law of thermodynamics
Source part.1: Gallica - Annalen der Physik, vol. 79, p.368
Source part.2: Gallica - Annalen der Physik, vol.79, p.500

English translation:
Title: On the Motive Power of Heat and on the Laws which can be deduced from it for the Theory of Heat (first paper from 16)
Source: Internet Archive - Phil. Mag. (1851), 2, 1–21, 102–119.

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(1857) "Über die Art der Bewegung, die wir Wärme nennen", Annalen der Physik 100: 353–379
(1862) "Über die Wärmeleitung gasförmiger Körper", Annalen der Physik 115: 1–57
(1864), Abhandlungen über die Mechanische Wärmetheorie. Electronic manuscript from the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
(1865), "Über die Wärmeleitung gasförmiger Körper", Annalen der Physik 125: 353–400

Title: (1865) The Mechanical Theory of Heat
Source: Google Books

1851(2?)

William Thomson /Lord Kelvin/- gives an alternative statement of the second law

Title: On a Universal Tendency in Nature to the Dissipation of Mechanical Energy
Note: This paper is often the considered as the softer verbal description of Clausius' more dense mathematical description of the second law.
Source: Internet Archive - Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1850-57, vol.3, p.139

1852

James Joule and William Thomson /Lord Kelvin/ - demonstrate that a rapidly expanding gas cools, later named the Joule–Thomson effect or Joule–Kelvin effect

Title:
Source:

1854

Hermann Helmholtz - puts forward the idea of the heat death of the universe

Title:
Source:

Rudolf Clausius - establishes the importance of dQ/T (Clausius's theorem), but does not yet name the quantity

Title:
Source:

William Rankine - introduces his thermodynamic function, later identified as entropy

Title:
Source:


1855

Rudolf Clausius - states that heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without intervention.

Title:
Source:

1856

August Krönig - publishes an account of the kinetic theory of gases, probably after reading Waterston's work

Title: (1856) Grundzüge einer Theorie der Gase
Note:
Source: Gallica - Annalen der Physik, T.99, 1856 , p.315

1857

Rudolf Clausius - gives a modern and compelling account of the kinetic theory of gases in his "On the nature of motion called heat"

Title: Über die Art der Bewegung, die wir Wärme nennen
Source:

Title: (1857) On the Kind of Motion which we call Heat (The Nature of the Motion which we call Heat)
Source:
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Title: The Mechanical Theory of Heat
Note: textbook
Source: Google Books

1859

James Clerk Maxwell - discovers the distribution law of molecular velocities

Title:
Source:

Gustav Kirchhoff - shows that energy emission from a black body is a function of only temperature and frequency

Title:
Source:

1862

Rudolf Clausius"Disgregation," a precursor of entropy, was defined in 1862 as the magnitude of the degree of separation of molecules of a body

Title:
Source:

1865

Rudolf Clausius introduces the modern macroscopic concept of entropy

Title: Über die Wärmeleitung gasförmiger Körper
Source: Gallica - Annalen der Physik, vol. 125, p.353

Josef Loschmidt - applies Maxwell's theory to estimate the number-density of molecules in gases, given observed gas viscosities.

Title: (1865) Zur Grösse der Luftmoleküle
Language: German
Format:
Source: Google Books - Sitzungsberichte der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften Wien 52 (2): 395–413

(1861) Chemische Studien - Google Books

1867

James Clerk Maxwell - asks whether Maxwell's demon could reverse irreversible processes

Title:
Source:

1870

Rudolf Clausiusproves the scalar virial theorem

Title:
Source:

1872

Ludwig Boltzmann - states the Boltzmann equation for the temporal development of distribution functions in phase space, and publishes his H-theorem

Title:
Source:

1873

Josiah Willard Gibbs - publishes his first two papers on thermodynamics. He introduces a novel graphical approach that revolutionized the subject.

Title: Graphical Methods in the Thermodynamics of Fluids
Source: Internet Archive - Scientific papers,, vol.1, p.1 [Transactions of the Connecticut Academy, Vol. II, Part 1, pp. 309-342]

Title: A Method of Geometrical Representation of the Thermodynamic Properties of Substances by Means of Surfaces
Source: Internet Archive - Scientific papers,, vol.1, p.33 [Transactions of the Connecticut Academy, Vol. II, Part 2, pp. 382-404]


1874

William Thompson /Lord Kelvin/- formally states the second law of thermodynamics

Title:
Source:

1876

Josiah Willard Gibbs - publishes the first of two papers (the second appears in 1878) which discuss phase equilibria, statistical ensembles, the free energy as the driving force behind chemical reactions, and chemical thermodynamics in general.

Title: ???
Source:

Josef Loschmidt - criticises Boltzmann's H theorem as being incompatible with microscopic reversibility (Loschmidt's paradox)

Title:
Source:

1877

Ludwig Boltzmann - states the relationship between entropy and probability

Title:
Source:

1879

Jožef Stefan - observes that the total radiant flux from a blackbody is proportional to the fourth power of its temperature and states the Stefan–Boltzmann law

Title:
Source:

1884

Ludwig Boltzmann - derives the Stefan–Boltzmann blackbody radiant flux law from thermodynamic considerations.

Title:
Source:

1888

Henri-Louis Le Chatelier - states his principle that the response of a chemical system perturbed from equilibrium will be to counteract the perturbation

Title:
Source:

1889

Walther Nernst - relates the voltage of electrochemical cells to their chemical thermodynamics via the Nernst equation

Title:
Source:

Svante Arrhenius - introduces the idea of activation energy for chemical reactions, giving the Arrhenius equation

Title:
Source:

1893

Wilhelm Wien - discovers the displacement law for a blackbody's maximum specific intensity

Title:
Source:

1900

Max Planck - suggests that light may be emitted in discrete frequencies, giving his law of black-body radiation

Title:
Source:

1905

Albert Einstein - argues that the reality of quanta would explain the photoelectric effect

Title:
Source:

Albert Einstein - mathematically analyzes Brownian motion as a result of random molecular motion

Title:
Source:

1906

Walther Nernst - presents a formulation of the third law of thermodynamics

Title:
Source:

1907

Albert Einstein - uses quantum theory to estimate the heat capacity of an Einstein solid

Title:
Source:

1909

Constantin Carathéodory - develops an axiomatic system of thermodynamics

Title: Untersuchungen ueber die Grundlagen der Thermodynamik
Title_en: Investigations on the Foundations of Thermodynamics
Source: - Math. Ann., 67 (1909) p. 355-386

1910

Albert Einstein and Marian Smoluchowski - find the Einstein–Smoluchowski formula for the attenuation coefficient due to density fluctuations in a gas

Title:
Source:

1911

Paul Ehrenfest and Tatjana Ehrenfest–Afanassjewa - publish their classical review on the statistical mechanics of Boltzmann

Title: Begriffliche Grundlagen der statistischen Auffassung in der Mechanik
Source:

1912

Peter Debye - gives an improved heat capacity estimate by allowing low-frequency phonons

Title:
Source:

1916

Sydney Chapman and David Enskog - systematically develop the kinetic theory of gases

Title:
Source:

Albert Einstein - considers the thermodynamics of atomic spectral lines and predicts stimulated emission

Title:
Source:

1919

James Jeans - discovers that the dynamical constants of motion determine the distribution function for a system of particles

Title:
Source:

1920

Megh Nad Saha - states his ionization equation

Title:
Source:

1923

Peter Debye and Erich Huckel - publish a statistical treatment of the dissociation of electrolytes

Title:
Source:

1924

Satyendra Nath Bose - introduces Bose–Einstein statistics, in a paper translated by Einstein

Title:
Source:

1926

Enrico Fermi and Paul Dirac - introduce Fermi–Dirac statistics for fermions

Title:
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1927

John von Neumann - introduces the density matrix representation and establishes quantum statistical mechanics

Title:
Source:

1928

John B. Johnson - discovers "Johnson noise" in a resistor

Title:
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Harry Nyquist - derives the fluctuation-dissipation theorem, a relationship to explain Johnson noise in a resistor

Title:
Source:

1929

Lars Onsager - derives the "Onsager reciprocal relations"

Title:
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1938

Anatoly Vlasov - proposes the Vlasov equation for a correct dynamical description of ensembles of particles with collective long range interaction

Title:
Source:

1939

Nikolay Krylov and Nikolay Bogolyubov - give the first consistent microscopic derivation of the Fokker-Planck equation in the single scheme of classical and quantum mechanics

Title:
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1942

Joseph Leo Doob - states his theorem on Gauss–Markov processes

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1944

Lars Onsager - gives an analytic solution to the 2-dimensional Ising model, including its phase transition

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1945–1946

Nikolay Bogoliubov - develops a general method for a microscopic derivation of kinetic equations for classical statistical systems using BBGKY hierarchy

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1947

Nikolay Bogoliubov and Kirill Gurov - extend this method for a microscopic derivation of kinetic equations for quantum statistical systems.

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1948

Claude Elwood Shannon - establishes information theory

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1957

Aleksandr Solomonovich Kompaneets - derives his Compton scattering Fokker–Planck equation

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Ryogo Kubo - derives the first of the Green-Kubo relations for linear transport coefficients

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Edwin T. Jaynes - gives MaxEnt interpretation of thermodynamics from information theory

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1960–1965

Dmitry Zubarev - develops the method of non-equilibrium statistical operator, which becomes a classical tool in the statistical theory of non-equilibrium processes

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1972

Jacob Bekenstein - suggests that black holes have an entropy proportional to their surface area

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1974

Stephen Hawking - predicts that black holes will radiate particles with a black-body spectrum which can cause black hole evaporation

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1. wikipedia - Timeline of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and random processes
3. statisticfunction.net