It has taken 140 years, but only now do we have mathematical proof that a seminal equation describing the behaviour of gases is correct. Robert Strain and Philip Gressman at the University of Pennsylvania employed modern mathematical tools to find solutions for the Boltzmann equation, which predicts the motion of gas molecules.
The existence of molecules was still being disputed when Ludwig Boltzmann formulated his equation in 1872, but its ability to accurately predict gaseous behaviour won out over any philosophical objections. Physicists today use the equation to model gases in everything from nuclear power stations to galaxies, yet until now there was no guarantee that it would work correctly in every possible situation.
Read more at the New Scientist:
and at the Science Daily: