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A biography of Polish physicist Marian Smoluchowski (1872-1917), a pioneer of statistical physics and an avid mountaineer. Smoluchowski's scientific output included fundamental work on the kinetic theory of matter. In 1904 he was the first to note the existence of density fluctuations in the gas phase, and in 1908 he was the first physicist to ascribe the phenomenon of critical opalescence to large density fluctuations. His investigations also concerned the blue colour of the sky as a consequence of light dispersion on fluctuations in the atmosphere. In 1906, independently of Albert Einstein, he described Brownian motion and presented an equation which became an important basis of the theory of stochastic processes. In 1916 he proposed the equation of diffusion in an external potential field. This equation bears his name.
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