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Article On Physicist Involved In Mechanics

Paul Ehrenfest was an Austrian and Dutch physicist, who made major contributions to the field of statistical mechanics and its relations with quantum mechanics. He was born and grew up in Vienna in a Jewish family from Lostice in Moravia. Ehrenfest excelled in his grades at school but did not do well at the Akademisches Gymnasium, his best subject being mathematics. After transferring to the Franz Josef Gymnasium, his marks improved and in 1899 he passed the final exams. He majored in chemistry at the Technische Hochschule, but took courses at the University of Vienna, in particular from Ludwig Boltzmann on his kinetic theory of thermodynamics. At the time it was necessary in the German-speaking world to study at more than one university and in 1901 Ehrenfest transferred to Gottingen, which until 1933 was an important centre for mathematics and theoretical physics. There he met his future wife Tatyana A. Afanasyeva, a young mathematician born in Ukraine and educated in Russia.. In the meantime he prepared a dissertation on The motion of rigid bodies in fluids and the mechanics of Hertz. On June 23, 1904 he obtained his Ph.D. degree in Vienna, where he stayed from 1904 to 1905. On December 21, 1904 he married Russian mathematician Tatyana Alexeyevna Afanasyeva , who collaborated with him in his work. They had two daughters and two sons. Their first child, Tatyana became a mathematician. Second child, Galinka became an author and illustrator of children's books. Third child, Paul Jr became a physicist. And finally their last child Vassily. In 1907 the couple moved to St Petersburg. Ehrenfest as an Austrian citizen and of Jewish origin, he had no prospect of a permanent position. Early in 1912 Ehrenfest set out on a tour of German-speaking universities in the hope of a position. In Prague he met Albert Einstein for the first time, and they remained close friends thereafter. Einstein...
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