Rudolf Julius Emmanuel Clausius

Born: 2 Jan 1822 in Koslin, Prussia (now Koszalin, Poland)
Died: 24 Aug 1888 in Bonn, Germany

[Mathematiker Bild]

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Rudolf Clausius was professor of physics in Berlin (1850), then in Zurich (1855), then at Würzburg (1867) and finally at Bonn (1869).

Essentially a theoretical physicist, he did important work in thermodynamics. In a paper of 1865 he stated the First and Second laws of thermodynamics in the following form.

1. The energy of the universe is constant.
2. The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.

In all Clausius wrote eight important papers on the topic. He restated Sadi Carnot's principle of the efficiency of heat engines. The Clausius-Clapeyron equation expresses the relation between the pressure and temperature at which two phases of a substance are in equilibrium.

References (17 books/articles)

References elsewhere in this archive:

Rudolph J E Clausius was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1868. You can see a history of the Royal Society and a list of the members among the mathematicians in our archive.
He was awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 1879. You can see a history of the Copley Medal and a list of the winners.

There is a Crater Clausius on the moon. You can see a list of lunar features named after mathematicians.

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JOC/EFR December 1996