Jožef Stefan: His Scientific Legacy on the 175th Anniversary of His Birth


by

John C. Crepeau

DOI: 10.2174/97816080547701130101
eISBN: 978-1-60805-477-0, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60805-608-8



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Indexed in: Scopus

Most scientists and engineers are familiar with the name Josef Stefan primarily from the Stefan-Boltzmann law, which relates the amoun...[view complete introduction]

Table of Contents

Foreword

- Pp. i-ii (2)

Božidar Šarler

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Preface

- Pp. iii-iv (2)

John C. Crepeau

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List of Contributors

- Pp. v-vi (2)

John C. Crepeau

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From Rags to Research: The Life and Influence of Jožef Stefan

- Pp. 3-11 (9)

John C. Crepeau

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Jožef Stefan as Poet and Writer

- Pp. 12-17 (6)

Janez Strnad

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Ludwig Boltzmann and Jožef Stefan

- Pp. 18-36 (19)

Wolfgang L. Reiter

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The Stefan-Loschmidt Collaboration in Vienna

- Pp. 37-49 (13)

John C. Crepeau

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Stefan’s Teaching and his Influence on Sigmund Freud

- Pp. 50-55 (6)

John C. Crepeau

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Stefan’s Measurement of the Thermal Conductivity of Gases

- Pp. 56-81 (26)

William Wakeham and Marc Assael

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Jožef Stefan and the Diffusion Phenomena

- Pp. 82-136 (55)

Jovan Mitrovic

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Stefan’s Analysis of Radiative Transfer

- Pp. 137-165 (29)

Wojciech Lipiński

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Phase Change Analysis and Jožef Stefan

- Pp. 166-183 (18)

Kees Vuik

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An Overview of Stefan’s Lesser-Known Contributions

- Pp. 184-199 (16)

Janez Strnad

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The Scientific Legacy of Jožef Stefan

- Pp. 200-220 (21)

Arunn Narasimhan

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Bibliography of the Papers of Jožef Stefan

- Pp. 221-223 (3)

John C. Crepeau

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Stefan’s Teaching Schedule

- Pp. 224-228 (5)

John C. Crepeau

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Index

- Pp. 229-234 (6)

John C. Crepeau

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Foreword

Jožef Stefan is considered one of the most important physicists of the nineteenth century. His name is closely associated with the radiation law, at least three dimensionless numbers and a class of moving boundary problems. His personality, life and work inspired many documents. Biographies have been written by A. Obermeyer (1893), L. Cermelj (1950, 1979), J. Strnad (1985, 1993), and S. Sitar (1993). A detailed analysis of his achievements has been given by H. Adamcik- Preusser zu Niederberg (2004). Several aspects of his work have been written in reviews by I. Šubic (1902), J. Boncelj (1952), J. Strnad (1979, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2002, 2011), C. Vuik (1993), B. Šarler (1995), I. Novak Popov (1993), J. Crepeau (2007, 2008, 2009), and J.S. Wettlaufer (2001). Stefan’s achievements were the focus of several memorial talks, given by prominent scholars, such as L. Boltzmann (1895). Books on Stefan problems have been written by L.I. Rubenstein (1971) and A.M. Meirmanov (1992), and bibliographies on Stefan problems have been given by D.A. Tarzia (1988) and B. Šarler (1995).

The listed selection of previous related studies have not at all exhausted various interesting aspects of Jožef Stefan, and the present book, carefully coordinated by Professor John Crepeau, gives additional insights. Particularly interesting are the discussed relations to his teachers and students, contemporaries, his poetry, his attitude to Vienna and his birthplace in Carinthia, his influence on other scientific disciplines besides physics, and a novel description of the far reaching influence of Stefan's achievements. The book is unique, since it represents a first publication of this kind, where authorities M. Assael, J. Crepeau, W. Lipínsky, J. Mitrovic, A. Narasimhan, W. Reiter, J. Strnad, C. Vuik, and W. Wakeham consider an interdisciplinary view on the subject. The book was encouraged by ever increasing and breathtaking number of publications, connected with Stefan's name on one hand, and a lack on a broader and more complete view of this modest genius on the other hand. The book is not only dedicated to science historians but also for those interested in the humanities.

The book will, without doubt, influence further interest in Jožef Stefan, and encourage acquisition and analysis of further reference materials.

Božidar Šarler
University of Nova Gorica
Nova Gorica
Slovenia


Preface

A few years ago, I became interested in a variation of the solid-liquid phase change problem where melting was driven by the internal heat generation which occurred within the material. A common application of this problem is in the field of nuclear energy. For example, heat is generated by fission reactions within a nuclear fuel rod. Some questions arose: What is the heat required to start melting in the fuel rod? How does the motion of the melting front vary in time and how is its location dependant on the heat generation? We didn’t know it at the time, but we were working on a variant of what is known as the Stefan Problem. The solution was complicated by the internal heat generation term in the energy equation.

My colleague and I made halting progress on the solution. In fact, an earlier paper stated, “…the nonlinear character associated with the phase change process [with internal heat generation] makes the present problem extremely complex. It is not feasible to seek approximate analytical solutions…” [1]. We felt the problem to be challenging and particularly satisfying, and eventually we found an approximate solution, then showed through a numerical analysis that the approximate solutions were valid. In the paper we used a nondimensional variable called the Stefan number. Sometime later, I was asked to give a seminar on our work. For me, it is customary to bring a historical perspective in my presentations, so I dug around a little to find out more about this Jožef Stefan. After extensive investigation, I found out two things. First, there wasn’t much information about him. Second, this Stefan was the same person that discovered the T4 radiation law, known to students who take heat transfer, thermal physics or astronomy as the Stefan- Boltzmann law, of which the Stefan-Boltzmann constant is a part. I was startled when I found out this connection, and I started thinking how many other scientists have a law, a constant, a dimensionless variable and a problem named for them? The answer is not many. Well then, how could someone, whose name is associated with all of this scientific nomenclature, be virtually unknown?

Thus began my quest.

History has always interested me. I am not a trained historian, but I have felt that history, especially the history of science, has a place among practicing scientists and engineers. It can easily be incorporated into course lectures, and in my experience, students find the history of a particular phenomenon quite enjoyable when the topic is discussed. It breathes life into the subject, and students can appreciate the struggles and brilliance of early researchers.

The science and technology historian James Burke made the following remark regarding inventors, but it is easily applicable to scientists: “…no individual is responsible for producing invention ex nihilo. The elevation of the single inventor to the position of sole creator at best exaggerates his influence over events, and at worst denies the involvement of those humbler members of society without whose work his task might have been impossible” [2]. Jožef Stefan fits Burke’s description as one of “those humbler members of society”. He rarely traveled outside of Vienna and published almost exclusively in the local science journal. A simple love of, and honest devotion to teaching and research motivated him, not scientific fame. His students, however, are well-known to many: Ludwig Boltzmann and Sigmund Freud. He influenced Josef Loschmidt and Marian Smoluchowski, and in turn, Stefan’s students influenced many others. The work that Stefan and Boltzmann did on the radiation law became the foundation from which Max Planck built quantum mechanics.

The purpose of this eBook is two-fold. The first is to acknowledge Jožef Stefan and provide some well-deserved recognition. The second is to expose his influence in a wide variety of fields.

I wish to acknowledge the help of a number of people who helped with this eBook, especially, Jennifer O’Laughlin, Dustin Marshall, Ruprecht Machleidt, Wolfgang Reiter, Janez Strnad, Božidar Šarler, Ujjwal Shretha and Elaine Queener, as well as the Austrian Academy of Sciences. I am also indebted to my wife and children for their love and support.

John C. Crepeau
Moscow, Idaho
USA

List of Contributors

Editor(s):
John C. Crepeau
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Idaho
Moscow




Contributor(s):
Marc Assael
Professor and Director
Laboratory of Thermophysical Properties & Environmental Processes
Department of Chemical Engineering
Aristotle University
Thessaloniki
Greece


John C. Crepeau
Professor and Chair
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Idaho
USA


Wojciech Lipiński
Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Minnesota
USA


Jovan Mitrovic
Professor, Faculty for Production and Management Trebinje
University of East Sarajevo
Republic of Srpska
Bosnia and Herzegovina


Arunn Narasimhan
Associate Professor, Heat Transfer and Thermal
Power Laboratory
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
India


Wolfgang Reiter
Vice President, Erwin Schrödinger International
Institute for Mathematical Physics
Vienna
Austria


Janez Strnad
Professor, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
University of Ljubljana
Slovenia


Kees Vuik
Professor of Numerical Analysis
Scientific Director of 3TU.AMI Applied Mathematics Institute
Director of the Delft Centre for Computational Science and Engineering
Delft University of Technology
The Netherlands


William Wakeham
Fellow of the Royal Society of Engineering
President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers
Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Southhampton and former Professor
Chair of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College
London
England




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