Does anyone know if Max Planck knew about the Boltzmann distribution before he published his results in 1900? Also, when Planck introduced h, did he also give the value?
Planck's value for h was 6.55*10^-34 J-s, which is pretty close to the modern value 6.626*10^-34 J-s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_constant The Boltzmann distribution was identified by J.W. Gibbs in 1901. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_distribution
Thanks, SteamKing. I think I read somewhere that Planck invoked the Boltzmann distribution... anyone have any other thoughts? Maybe it hadn't been published yet, but Planck knew about it?
It depends on which Boltzmann distribution you refer. The attached article in post #2 refers specifically to a Boltzmann distribution, which was derive from earlier work by B. There is also a Boltzmann-Maxwell distribution, which was derived more or less contemporaneously by B. and Clerk Maxwell.