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Dirk ter Haar
Dirk ter Haar was a Dutch physicist who studied physics in Scotland (St. Andrews) and England (Oxford).,
During the last years of World War II he attended Hendrik Kramers' famous lectures on statistical mechanics, which led to the great school of Dutch statistical physicists (F. J. Belinfante, Max Dresden, Nico van Kampen, Abraham Pais). After the war he went to study at Niels Bohr's Institute in Copenhagen, then went back to Leiden to receive the Ph.D. under Hendrik Kramers, His academic career was spent largely at the University of Oxford. One of his students was the historian of statistical physics Steven Brush.
He wrote a number of important books on statistical mechanics in the 1950's and one on the Old Quantum Theory in 1967. Perhaps his most famous book was the 1954 ter Haar considered the implications of quantum mechanics for statistical mechanics. Many statistical physicists argued that quantum mechanics requires no changes to the conclusions of classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. These thinkers tended to be determinists who were uncomfortable with Werner Heisenberg's claim that quantum mechanics had eliminated causality in physics.
ter Haar also challenged the applicability of Claude Shannon's information theory and Norbert Wiener's cybernetics to statistical mechanics. But he accepted Leo Szilard's analysis of Maxwell's demon for a single particle, showing how a measurement of a single particle involves He wrote...
We can note that in the most widely used modern textbook on statistical physics, Fred Reif says,
The quantity —In Γ, i.e., the function Σ P Normal | Teacher | Scholar |