In math you usually understand why terms such as triangle, function, polynomial, category or even vector came to be. However where does the word ergodic come from? Does it have a meaning in another language? name of a mathematician?
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From Earliest Known Uses of Some Words in Mathematics, one can read the entry:
From mathworld's entry on Ergodic Theory:
References cited there:
Billingsley, P. Ergodic Theory and Information. New York: Wiley, 1965.
Cornfeld, I.; Fomin, S.; and Sinai, Ya. G. Ergodic Theory. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1982.
Katok, A. and Hasselblatt, B. An Introduction to the Modern Theory of Dynamical Systems. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Nadkarni, M. G. Basic Ergodic Theory. India: Hindustan Book Agency, 1995.
Parry, W. Topics in Ergodic Theory. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1982.
Petersen, K. Ergodic Theory. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
Radin, C. "Ergodic Theory." Ch. 1 in Miles of Tiles. Providence, RI: Amer. Math. Soc., pp. 17-54, 1999.
Sinai, Ya. G. Topics in Ergodic Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993.
Smorodinsky, M. Ergodic Theory, Entropy. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1971.
Steinhaus, H. Mathematical Snapshots, 3rd ed. New York: Dover, pp. 237-239, 1999.
Walters, P. Ergodic Theory: Introductory Lectures. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1975.
Walters, P. Introduction to Ergodic Theory. New York: Springer-Verlag, 2000.
See also Wikipedia's entry on Ergodic Theory, which discusses its current usage and applications, and includes both historic and modern references might be of interest.