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George Augustus Linhart—As a “Widely Unknown”Thermodynamicist

Author(s): Ewgeni B. Starikov

Journal: World Journal of Condensed Matter Physics
ISSN 2160-6919

Volume: 02;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 101;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Thermodynamics | Entropy | Energy | Time

The name of George Augustus Linhart is in fact “widely unknown”. In effect, he was a Viennese-born USA-American physicist-chemist, partially associated with the Gilbert Newton Lewis’ school of thermodynamics at the University of California in Berkeley. As a lone small boy, he had arrived (from Austria via Hamburg) at New York in 1896, but was officially USA-naturalized only in 1912. He was able to pick up English in the streets of New York and Philadelphia, when occasionally working as a waiter and/or as a tailor, just to somehow survive. But, nonetheless, he could successfully graduate a high school in about one year, and then went to the universities for his further education. After obtaining his BS from the University of Pennsylvania, he could manage getting both MA and then PhD from the Yale University, Kent Chemical Laboratory. George Augustus Linhart was afterwards definitely able to successfully work out the true foundations of thermodynamics and could thus outdistance many famous thermodynamicists of his time and even the later ones. Linhart's view of the Second Law of Thermodynamics was and is extremely fruitful. The interconnection of Linhart's ideas with those of Gilbert Newton Lewis, as well as with the modern standpoints is discussed here in detail.
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