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Edwin T. Jaynes

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Edwin T. Jaynes

E. T. Jaynes
Edwin Thompson Jaynes (1922–1998), photo taken circa 1960.
Born (1922-07-05)July 5, 1922
Waterloo, Iowa
Died 30 April 1998(1998-04-30) (aged 75)
St. Louis, Missouri
Fields Physicist
Institutions Washington University
Alma mater Princeton University
Doctoral advisor Eugene Wigner
Known for MaxEnt interpretation, Bayesian theory

Edwin Thompson Jaynes (July 5, 1922 – April 30,[1] 1998) was Wayman Crow Distinguished Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis. He wrote extensively on statistical mechanics and on foundations of probability and statistical inference, initiating in 1957 the MaxEnt interpretation of thermodynamics,[2][3] as being a particular application of more general Bayesian/information theory techniques (although he argued this was already implicit in the works of Gibbs). Jaynes strongly promoted the interpretation of probability theory as an extension of logic.

In 1963, together with Fred Cummings, he modeled the evolution of a two-level atom in an electromagnetic field, in a fully quantized way. This model is known as the Jaynes–Cummings model.

A particular focus of his work was the construction of logical principles for assigning prior probability distributions; see the principle of maximum entropy, the principle of transformation groups[4][5] and Laplace's principle of indifference.

Jaynes' last book, Probability Theory: The Logic of Science gathers various threads of modern thinking about Kevin S. Van Horn.

Notes

External links

  • Mathematics Genealogy Project
  • Edwin Thompson Jaynes. ISBN 0-521-59271-2.
  • Early (1994) version (fragmentary) of Probability Theory: The Logic of Science. Book no longer downloadable for copyright reasons.
  • A comprehensive web page on E. T. Jaynes's life and work.
  • ET Jaynes' obituary at Washington university
  • Rudolph Wolf's dice data

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