| In thermodynamics, schools of thermodynamics refers to about twenty noted "schools" of thought in the development and teaching of thermodynamics at locations, institutions, or modes of logic throughout in the world, around or out of which many new thermodynamical quantities, laws, principles, theories, ideas, branches, founders, and pioneers emerged.  The heads of the founding twelve thermodynamics schools are pictured adjacent and the a diagram of school connectivity is pictured below. |
Thermodynamics Schools Connectivity Diagram
The formation of and interconnectiveness of the dozen founding schools of thermodynamics, outlined above, is an intricate historical subject. The anchor school among the founding dozen, to note, is the Berlin school (thermodynamics), followed by the Vienna school (statistical mechanics), and Gibbsian school (chemical thermodynamics), respectively.
|Twelve Founding Schools of Thermodynamics|
|École Polytechnique||Glasgow school||Berlin school||Edinburgh school|
|Vienna school||Gibbsian school||Dresden school||Dutch school|
|Johannes der Waals|
|Energetics school||Lewis school||Brussels school||MIT school|
|Théophile de Donder|
See main: Latitude and geniusThe following map shows the location of the schools by degrees latitude, having a mean latitude of 49.6˚, which is indicative of a potentially optimized latitude with which to learn thermodynamics:
See main: Leiden UniversityIn the 1720s, a significant pre-thermodynamics school of influence was Leyden University, where Dutch physician and chemist Herman Boerhaave and Dutch physicist Willem Gravesande were famously conducting some of the first research on volume expansion by heat (ball and ring experiment), kinetic energy (ball and clay surface experiment), the general principle of volume expansion of bodies by heat (Boerhaave’s law), electricity (Leyden jar), among other noted scientific advances. As commented by French philosopher-physicist Voltaire, who acted as a scientific liaison between the Netherlands, France, and England, in a 1736 letter to the crown prince of Prussia (afterwards Frederick the Great), with whom he had entered into an active corresponds with:
“I am the town of two simple citizens, Boerhaave and Gravesande attract from four to five hundred strangers.”
See main: École PolytechniqueThe first thermodynamics school, which is still very prestigious, was the French engineering school École Polytechnique founded in 1794 by French engineer Lazare Carnot, the father of thermodynamics founder Sadi Carnot, and French mathematician Gaspard Monge. During the period of 1800 to 1840, the École Polytechnique was the hotbed of research on the nature of heat, home to many of the world’s most famous mathematicians, physicists, and engineers, including Joseph Fourier, Gustave Coriolis, Émile Clapeyron, Henri Regnault, among many others. The key anchor here was Sadi Carnot.
See main: Glasgow school of thermodynamicsThe second school of thermodynamics to have been a hotbed of development was Glasgow College during the years 1840 to 1860s, in which time the Glasgow Philosophical Society was established. Individuals connected to this school or society instrumental in the development of thermodynamics include John Nichol, Lewis Gordon, James Thomson, William Thomson, William Rankine, among others. The key anchor here was William Thomson. Later thermodynamics publications from this school include the 1892 work of mathematician Peter Alexander. 
|Clipping from the 1991 European Journal of Physics article “Grand Schools of Physics: The Berlin School of Thermodynamics founded by Helmholtz and Clausius” by Werner Ebeling and Dieter Hoffman. |
See main: Berlin school of thermodynamics; See also: Helmholtz schoolIn the period 1871 to 1931, the University of Berlin was the world’s leading institute for thermodynamics and has science come to be known as the "Berlin school of thermodynamics".  All three fundamental principles, energy conservation by Hermann Helmholtz, the principle of entropy by Rudolf Clausius, and the zero entropy condition at absolute zero temperature by Walther Nernst were established while their inventors were connected to this institute. 
See main: Edinburgh school of thermodynamicsIn the late 1840s and into the 1860s, Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh Philosphical Society was a focal point for a number of people connected with thermodynamics, including William Hamilton, James Maxwell, Peter Tait, James Forbes, among others. The key anchors here were Peter Tait and James Maxwell.
See main: Vienna schoolThe "Viennese school" refers to the thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics works, theories, and teachings developed at or in connection with the University of Vienna, Austria, beginning in about 1863. The Viennese school, according to Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine, was led by Gustav Jaumann, originating concepts such as energy production and entropy flow. Noted thermodynamicists associated with this school include Ludwig Boltzmann, Josef Loschmidt, and Joseph Stefan.
See main: Gibbsian schoolThe Yale school (or “Sheffield Scientific School” ), launched in 1873, is associated with the work of American engineer Willard Gibbs at Yale University, and his students. Gibbs had very few direct students, one being Edwin Wilson, and his student Paul Samuelson, who used thermodynamics in economics. Most of Gibbs students were indirect students, via study of his work.
See main: Dutch school of thermodynamicsThe Dutch school of thermodynamics or “Dutch school”, which began in 1876, is associated with the work of Dutch physical chemist Johannes van der Waals and Dutch chemist Bakhuis Roozeboom at the University of Amsterdam, who built on the work of German physicist Rudolf Clausius and American engineer Willard Gibbs. Others associated with the Dutch school include: F. A. H. Schreinemakers and Jacobus van’t Hoff, to an extent.
See main: Dresden school of thermodynamicsIn some circles, German physicist Gustav Zeuner, author of the two-volume Technical Thermodynamics, which went through five-editions, is considered as the founder of the "Dresden school of thermodynamics". Specifically, in 1873, Zeuner took on the post of director at the Royal Saxon Polytechnicum in Dresden (now Technische Universität Dresden) in east Germany, wherein, aside from thermodynamics, he led to the introduction of the humanities; the extension of the range of subjects taught resulted in the polytechnic's rise to a full-scale polytechnic university in 1890. In 1889, aged 61, Zeuner gave up his position as director of the polytechnic to work as a lecturer until his retirement in 1897.
See main: Energetics schoolFrom 1890 to 1908, is a set of logic, attributed to German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald (the founder), Pierre Duhem, and Austrian physicist Ernst Mach, existed that rejected the atomic hypothesis focusing instead primarily on the law of conservation of energy and a belief that macroscopic energy levels were the only reality.  With the discovery of the atom, between 1897 and 1909, this school, however, soon became defunct.
See main: Brussels school of thermodynamicsThe Brussels school of thermodynamics is a school of thermodynamic logic, having its "birth" in 1918 lasting into the 1950s, centered around the work of Russian-born Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine, and his mentor mathematician and physicist Théophile de Donder, who both built on the work of German physicist Rudolf Clausius, at the Free University of Brussels a university now divided between the French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Dutch-speaking Vrije Universiteit Brussel. 
See main: Lewis school of thermodynamicsThe “Lewis school", a term used as early as 1923, or G.N. Lewis school, a term that came into use commonly into the 1950s, refers to anyone schooled under the logic of American physical chemist Gilbert Lewis. In the 20th century, the most cited textbook on thermodynamics was the 1923 Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances written by Lewis and American physical chemist Merle Randall. This activity centered around the University of California, Berkeley beginning in 1912 when Lewis was made dean of the College of Chemistry.
See main: MIT school of thermodynamicsThe MIT school or Keenan school of thermodynamics are centered around the publications of American mechanical engineer Joseph Keenan and Hungarian-born American physicist László Tisza.
|Helmholtz school||Lausanne school||Russian school||MaxEnt school|
| Nikolay Bogolyubov|
| Edwin Jaynes|
|Hungarian school||Mexican school||Japanese school|
|Istvan Gyarmati (1929-2002)||Leopoldo Garcia-Colin (1930-)||Atsushi Tsuchida (1933-)|
|Bellaterra school||Catalan school|