If seeking an 'easy' read, one will need to turn to another resource, as the level of exposition here is consistently high.

This is a well written, detailed, assessment of Boltzmann's life and science. The scholarship is impressive. Achieved here is an historical symbiosis between Boltzmann's life and his scientific work. The book is a two-pronged presentation: the main text is devoid of mathematical detail while the appendices (50 pages) present technical elaborations of the material (preface). The entire book could be used as a text for a course on statistical mechanics from an historical, yet rigorous, viewpoint (although, that course would be technically demanding as an introduction).

(1) A highlight, chapter six: Boltzmann's relation and the statistical interpretation of entropy. The author beautifully enunciates the explicit use of probability for a gas with discrete energies. Chapter seven is another gem as it examines Boltzmann's achievements in relation to Gibbs' approach to statistical mechanics.

(2) Appendices present a wealth of detailed derivations and deserve careful consideration from the reader. A note regarding the appendices--they are of a technical nature and are quite demanding. There are some gems:

(A) Calculation of pressure in dilute gas: "we are computing not momentum, but momentum flow." (page 252).

(B) Liouville equation: A most remarkable derivation involving collisions, conservation laws, Jacobians (page 255).

(C) Use of Boltzmann's inequality to derive Maxwell's distribution law (page 271).

(D) Discussion of hourglass model pertaining to growth of entropy (pages 277-279).

(E) Likelihood of a distribution: From discrete to continuous, use of Stirling's formula and induction (pages 280-282).

(F) Canonical distribution for equilibrium states: A tour de force, essentially two alternative derivations (see page 283).

(G) A traditional derivation of Stefan-Boltzmann law, followed by derivation of Wien's law (pages 294-295).

In conclusion: Quite an accomplishment. A duplicity of goals with modern considerations combined with historical accuracy. Professor Cercignani has amply fulfilled those two goals. Recommended for enrichment in statistical mechanics and appreciation of the life of Ludwig Boltzmann.

**精装****语种：**英语**ISBN:**0198501544**条形码:**9780198501541**商品尺寸:**23.6 x 3 x 16 cm**商品重量:**680 g**ASIN:**0198501544**用户评分:***7 买家评级*

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