Einstein before 1905: The early papers on statistical mechanics

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Albert Einstein’s work on the quantum and Brownian motion, which he began to publish in 1905, was preceded by three papers on kinetic theory and statistical mechanics published between 1902 and 1904. In these early papers, which give us considerable insight into Einstein’s early education and development, Einstein independently derived many of Boltzmann’s and Gibbs’ results, including the canonical ensemble, an analysis of fluctuations, and the relation between entropy and probability. This article discusses those papers and their background in 19th‐century physics.


DOI: 10.1119/1.16478