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A TREATISE

ON THE

KINETIC THEORY OF GASES .

BY

HENRY WILLIAM WATSON, M.A.

\ i

FORMERLY FELLOW OP TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
1876

[ All rights retrrted ]

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PREFACE.

The idea of a Kinetic Theory of Gases originated with J. Bernouilli about the middle of the last century, but the first establishment of the theory on a scientific basis is due to Professor Clausius.

During the last few years the theory has been greatly developed by many physicists, especially by Professor Clerk Maxwell in England and Professor Clausius and Dr. Ludwig Boltzmann on the Continent; and although still beset by formidable difficulties, it has succeeded in explaining most of the established laws of /gases in so remarkable a manner as to render it well worthy of the attentive consideration of scientific men.

My great object_in_the following short treatise is to make_ the existing state of the theory more widely known by presenting some of the scattered memoirs of the writers I have mentioned in a systematic and continuous form, in the hope that mathematicians may be induced to turn their attention to the theory, and thus assist in removing, if possible, the obstacles which yet remain in the way of its complete establishment.

For the most part I have followed the method of treatment adopted by Dr^ Ludwig Boltzmann in some very interesting memoirs contributed by him to the

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