# Classical Physics, Mechanics, Optics

Paris: Madame Huzard (née Vallat la Chapelle), 1830. First editions, in a stunning contemporary red morocco binding, of these important and beautifully illustrated works on fire-fighting including, among other things, the invention of the first fire helmet which allowed respiration during fires and protected the fire-fighter from inhaling hot air... More

Item #4011

Bologna: A S. Tommaso d’Aquino, 1802. First separate edition, extremely rare, of this work which represents the beginning of the use of galvanism as a therapeutic tool. This work prepared the ground for the development of various forms of electrotherapy that were heavily used later in the 19th century. Even... More

Item #3095

Amsterdam: chez Henry Wetstein, 1687. First edition of this beautifully illustrated treatise on the magnet and its uses, dealing with the invention of the compass, magnetic mountains in America, declination and the orientation of the compass-needle in a magnetic field. The plates are etchings by Adriaan Schoonebeek (1658-1705), the pupil... More

Item #3188

[Paris: Firmin Didot, 1827]. First edition, journal issue, of the “Principia of electrodynamics” (DSB). “Having established a noumenal foundation for electrodynamic phenomena, Ampere’s next steps were to discover the relationships between the phenomena and to devise a theory from which these relationships could be mathematically deduced. This double task was... More

Item #4290

First edition. Venice: Bernardinus Bindonus, 1537. Very rare editio princeps of Apollonius’ Conics, the basic treatise on the subject, “which recognized and named the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola” (Horblit 4, on the later edition of 1566). This is one of the three greatest mathematical treatises of antiquity, alongside those of... More

Item #3075

Strasbourg: Johann Reinhold Dulsseker, 1738. First edition of Bernoulli’s epochal work on fluid dynamics and the kinetic theory of gases, containing the famous ‘Bernoulli equation’ for fluid flow. “Besides introducing the first hydraulic theory of fluid flow, this book is the most remarkable general work in theoretical and applied mechanics... More

Item #3842

Strasbourg: Johann Reinhold Dulsseker, 1738. First edition of Bernoulli’s epochal work on fluid dynamics and the kinetic theory of gases, containing the famous ‘Bernoulli equation’ for fluid flow. “Besides introducing the first hydraulic theory of fluid flow, this book is the most remarkable general work in theoretical and applied mechanics... More

Item #4404

First edition. Lausanne & Geneva: Marci-Michaelis Bousquet, 1742. An exceptionally fine and complete copy with both the portraits which often lack, from the collection of Robert Honeyman. “Bernoulli published only one book, Théorie de la manoeuvre des vaisseaux (1714) and apart from this, his dissertation De motu musculorum (1694) and... More

Item #3597

London: The Royal Society, 1909. First edition, offprint issue, author’s inscribed presentation copy, of Bohr’s first published scientific paper. “His first research project, a precision measurement of the surface tension of water by the observation of a regularly vibrating jet, was completed in 1906, when he was still a student... More

Item #4432

First edition. [London: Harrison and Sons], 1910. Presentation offprint, inscribed in Bohr’s hand to the chemist Einar Biilmann, of the ‘Second Royal Society Paper’ – what Bohr “learned by working in this field may have been a help to him when, more than a quarter of a century later, he... More

Item #3505

First edition. Bologna: Dominici Ferri, 1670. A fine copy of one of the most important early treatises on fluid mechanics. In this work Borelli “argues against positive levity, discusses the Torricellian experiment, takes up siphons, pumps, and the nature of fluidity, tries to understand the expansion of water while freezing... More

Item #4310

Bologna: Giacopo Monti, 1667. First edition, an extraordinary association copy, of the first published book on the laws of percussion, and containing important hitherto unpublished material from the lectures of Galileo and Torricelli. This copy was a gift from Prince Leopold of Tuscany, Borelli’s patron at the Tuscan court. Probably... More

Item #3935

First edition. Paris: Claude Jombert, 1729. A very nice copy in contemporary binding of the founding work of photometry. “Bouguer is regarded as the founder of photometry, the branch of optics concerned with measuring the intensity of light. His two most important contributions to the subject are contained in his... More

Item #2212

London: Awnsham and John Churchill, 1692. First edition of this rare posthumously published work on the nature of gases, seen through the press by Boyle’s friend John Locke and containing some of Locke’s own early meteorological observations. The product of Boyle’s life’s work on gases, the General History “is of... More

Item #4046

First edition. London: Taylor & Francis, 1904. Rare offprint issue of the Brace experiment - the first optical experiment measuring the relative motion of Earth and the luminiferous aether which was sufficiently precise to detect magnitudes of second order to v/c. The Brace experiment was of great importance for the... More

Item #2990

First edition. Prague: J.G. Calve, 1835-36. The memoire in which Cauchy explained the dispersion of light from the undulatory theory of light, and first derived the equation, named after him, relating the refractive index and wavelength of light for a particular transparent material. This memoire was a continuation of his... More

Item #2354

Paris: Moutard, 1782. Extremely rare offprint, with imprint three years before publication in journal form, of this important memoir in which Coulomb created the science of friction. “Coulomb’s most celebrated study, one that brought him immediate acclaim, was “Théorie des machines simples,” his prize-winning friction study of 1781. He investigated... More

Item #4273

Berlin: Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1925. First edition, extremely rare author’s presentation offprint (not to be confused with the much more common trade offprint – see below), and the copy of Einstein’s son Hans Albert, of Einstein’s first original paper on unified field theory, and the first to use the term... More

Item #4035

St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1769-1771. First edition, and a very fine copy, of Euler’s rare work on optics, ‘widely known and important in the physics of the eighteenth century’ and which ‘laid the foundations of the calculation of optical systems’ (DSB). The first volume presents his general theory... More

Item #3300

St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1768-1772. First edition, in the original interim wrappers, of these letters to the Princess Friederike Charlotte Leopoldine Louise of Brandenburg-Schwedt, to whom Euler had given lessons during his stay in Berlin. The work “had an immense success and profoundly influenced contemporary philosophy” (PMM 196... More

Item #3992

Berlin: Haude & Spener, 1746; 1750; 1751. First edition, an outstanding copy uncut in the original boards, of Euler’s three-volume Opuscula varii argumenti (although only the first volume bears this title), a collection of thirteen tracts, all except one published here for the first time. The most important is the... More

Item #4420

London: Richard Taylor and William Francis, 1852. First edition, journal issue, of these two papers containing Faraday’s detailed investigations of the nature of the ‘lines of force’ he had proposed in his first paper on electromagnetism, ‘On some new electro-magnetical motions, and on the theory of magnetism’, originally published in... More

Item #4416

Paris: Firmin Didot, 1822. First edition of the first mathematical study of heat diffusion, the first major mathematization of a branch of physics outside mechanics. “This work marks an epoch in the history of both pure and applied mathematics. It is the source of all modern methods in mathematical physics... More

Item #3841

Bologna: Heredi del Dozza, 1655-56. First collected edition of the works of Galileo, edited by Carlo Manolessi, and appearing only a year after his death. This was the edition in which Newton and his later contemporaries read their Galileo. The volumes contain not only most of the major works written... More

Item #3097

Modena: apud Societatem Typographicam, 1792. Presentation copy of the first edition in book form, and the first to contain the notes and commentary by Giovanni Aldini, Galvani’s nephew and principal apologist, of this epoch-making work, one of the most important in the history of electricity. This is a superb presentation/association... More

Item #4141