Who is Ernst Mach?June 25, 2021
Ernst Mach Kim (18 February, 1838 – 19 February, 1916) was an Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher.
The “Mach number” used in aerodynamics is named after Ernst Mach. Following the work of the French physicist Sarrau, he demonstrated the relationship between aerodynamics and the speed of sound. Ernst Mach earned the title of professor at a young age. He made many researches in fields such as the theory of sensations, motion, optics, acoustics, aerodynamics, psycho-physics, vibration theory. But his most important work was in the field of philosophy of science.
According to Mach, the only way to scientifically understand the universe is through sensations. Science can grasp the world only when it considers the facts that act upon its senses. It seems absurd to Mach to seek anything other than what the senses perceive, and he objects to it. He lists the events given by the senses as such things as sounds, smells, and tastes. For example, according to him, the subject of physics is not the relationship between objects, but the relationship between sensations. Experiment helps us understand the truth by multiplying these sensations. Mach, who limits science to sensations, therefore opposes the atomic theory developed by Ludwig Boltzmann, since atoms are unobservable. He was also skeptical of theories such as the kinetic theory of gases.