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Is it possible to explain this sudden decision? How can it be reconciled with the humorous description of his trip to California, written a few months before? He was The tragic fate of a great scientist 35 probably exhausted and disappointed by the visit to the United States. His lectures in Berkeley, as well as those on the philosophy of science in Vienna, did not prove as successful as he had anticipated. As we shall say in the next section, Boltzmann was considered a great teacher and his audiences got the impression that he was deeply interested in the subject of the lecture and happy to give it.

He had already been celebrated as one the fathers of the kinetic theory of gases in a biography of Maxwell written in 1882. G. Tail and W. Burnside, in 1885-7 contributed considerably to improving his relations with the British physicists. Since not many people dared to read his lengthy papers, it was through these discussions that Boltzmann laid the foundations for his international reputation, which grew perhaps earlier in England than in the German-speaking world. Scientific distinctions and awards kept accumulating.

14 FIG. 3. A short biography of Ludwig Boltzmann Ludwig Boltzmann and his family in 1886. The children are (from left to right) Hcnriette, Ida, Ludwig , and Arthur. In 1876 Mach was in Prague and wanted to go back to Graz. Hence there followed days of anxiety for the young couple, waiting for their marriage, already fixed for July 17, without knowing whether they should try to find a house in Vienna or in Graz. To increase their worries, there was the danger that their honeymoon would be spoiled by the need to discuss the appointment to the chair in Graz with the Ministry.

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