Life of a Physicist: Ludwig Boltzmann 1844–1906

  • H. Mitter


Ludwig Boltzmann was born on Feb. 20th 1844 in the outskirts of Vienna. His father was a tax officer, his mother stemmed from a well-to-do family of merchants. The family moved to Wels and then to Linz, where Boltzmann and his younger brother were first taught by private teachers and then went to high school. Boltzmann had also private piano lessons (for some time even by the composer Anton Bruckner), he remained a good pianist throughout his life. His father died, when the boy was 15; one year later also his younger brother passed away. His mother spent all her money on the education of her son. The boy finished high school with honours in 1863 and studied physics and mathematics at Vienna university. His teachers were Andreas von Ettingshausen, Josef Petzval and in particular Josef Stefan. During his studies he was one of the 12 scholars of the physics institute, which were exempt from tuition. After three years of study Boltzmann passed the finals in Mathematics, Physics, History and Philosophy with best success and was promoted Doctor of Philosophy in 1866.


Kinetic Theory Young Brother Outstanding Quality Young Professor Heavy Teaching Load 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Mitter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikKarl-Franzens-UniversitätGrazAustria

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