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The Tangled Tale of Phase Space
Physics Today (2010)
  • David D Nolte, Purdue University
(Preview of Chapter 6: Galileo Unbound: Oxford 2018) Phase space has been called one of the most powerful inventions of modern science.  But its historical origins are clouded in a tangle of independent discovery and mis-attributions that persist today.  This Physics Today article unravels the twisted tale of the discovery and the naming of phase space that began with Liouville in 1838, but by no means ended there, culminating in an encyclopedia article of 1911 that had unintended and lasting etymological side effects never intended by its authors.
  • Phase Space,
  • Statistical mechanics,
  • Nonlinear dynamics,
  • Chaos,
  • Hamiltonian dynamics
Publication Date
Spring 2010
Citation Information
David D Nolte. "The Tangled Tale of Phase Space" Physics Today (2010)
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