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The Boltzmann Institute

  • is a Canadian organization seeking to help eliminate harmful emissions from human energy use 
  • is named for Ludwig Boltzmann, a founder of the science of thermodynamics, which concerns the relations between heat and other forms of energy
  • is a federally incorporated, not-for-profit corporation, founded in 2022 
  • aims to contribute research and education towards securing climate neutrality by 2050, initially focusing on thermal energy use (i.e., heating and cooling) in buildings
  • has an early goal to compare two pathways towards climate neutrality in buildings:
    1. through producing thermal energy at buildings (e.g., using electricity)
    2. through delivering the energy via thermal networks (e.g., district heating using distributed hot water).
  • is working to develop ways of assessing the most cost-effective balances of the two kinds of plan. 

Ludwig Boltzmann was a 19th-century Austrian physicist and philosopher of science, who as well as helping establish the science of thermodynamics was an early exponent of the atomic theory of matter.

According to a biographer, Boltzmann was an “irascible, extraordinary, difficult man, an early follower of Darwin, quarrelsome and delightful, and everything that a human being should be.” A 1966 assessment of his philosophical work included, “In his realization of the hypothetical character of all our knowledge, Boltzmann was far ahead of his time and perhaps even our time.”