HUYGENS, CHRISTIAN Horologium Oscillatorium

FIRST EDITION of Huygens's masterpiece; an outstanding copy with noted provenance."A work of the highest genius which has influenced every science through its mastery of the principles of dynamics. It is second in scientific importance perhaps only to Newton's Principia, which is in some respects based on it" (Singer, A Short History of Science to the Nineteenth Century)."Important as Huygens's clock was from both a practical and a scientific point of view (it could be used by astronomers), the Horologium ('The Oscillating Clock') is a general work on dynamics and especially a mathematical analysis of pendulum motion. It was the most original work of this kind since Galileo's Discorsi" (PMM 154)."Although others had suggested the pendulum as part of a timing mechanism, it remained for Huygens to apply his keen mathematical sense to the problems of the clock. In this work, of which the first and fifth books are devoted to the pendulum, he treated many problems of dynamics of bodies in motion. He determined the tautochronous character of the cycloid and applied it to invent an isochronous pendulum clock. To the theory of curves he added the theory of evolutes, the fall of bodies along curves, and determined the first value of the force of gravity by using a compound pendulum. At the end are listed 13 theorems that relate to the theory of centrifugal force in circular motion, a theory that aided Newton in determining universal gravitation" (Dibner 145). Provenance: Eprit Flechier (1632-1710), Bishop of Nimes from 1687 to 1710, and well-known for his published sermons and histories. Indentified by The Catholic Encyclopedia as "one of the greatest sacred orators of his century". His library was sold in London on January 25, 1726.Horologium Oscillatorium. Sive de Motu Pendulorum ad Horologia aptato Demonstrationes Geometricae. Paris: F. Muguet, 1673. Folio, contemporary full speckled calf , elaborately gilt-decorated spine, gilt arms on boards of Eprit Flechier, Bishop of Nimes. With full page woodcut and numerous in-text woodcuts and tables. Repairs to spine and corners, text with occasional light browning. A beautiful, fine copy with wide margins.
Price On Request


“Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species––man––acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world. ” FIRST EDITION of Rachel Carson's landmark work."Silent Spring caught the attention of President John F. Kennedy, who called for an investigation of the issues it raised. The 1963 report of a special panel of the President's Science Advisory Committee supported Carson's conclusions... The public responded by calling for state and federal regulation of pesticide control programs and the elimination of the use of some compounds. Carson was acclaimed by the public and received numerous scientific and literary awards, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters" (American National Biography).Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket. Book near fine copy with an elegant bookplate on the front pastedown and a small photograph of Rachel Carson tastefully pasted to the front free endpaper. Dust jacket with very light edgewear and a few small abrasions. An excellent copy of this important work.


THE 13th and FINAL EDITION of LINNAEUS'S MONUMENTAL SYSTEMAE NATURAE.Linnaeusʼ work not only consolidated earlier developments in systematic botany, it also defined its future tasks. The search for new species and genera, their naming and sys- tematic placement, became the main aim of botany, to the relative neglect of plant anat- omy and physiology... In the Systema naturae Linnaeus wrote that ʻthe first step in wis- dom is to know the things themselves; this notion consists in having a true idea of the objects; objects are distinguished and known by classifying them methodically and giv- ing them names. Therefore, classification and name-giving will be the foundation of our science.ʼ - Tore Frängsmyr and J. L. Heilbron, The Quantifying Spirit in the 18th CenturySystema Naturae was first published in 1735. It contains Linnaeusʼ hierarchical classifi- cation of the natural world, dividing it into the animal kingdom (Regnum animale), the plant kingdom (Regnum vegetabile) and the "mineral kingdom" (Regnum lappideum). The general classification contained 4 levels: Classes, orders, genera and species. Linnaeus kept publishing new editions, which grew from eleven pages in the first edition (1735) to three thousand pages in the final and thirteenth edition (1770, this one). (Printing and the Mind of Man, Milestones of Science, Heralds of Science).Three volumes (bound in four). Octavo. Later period style calf, spines elaborately gilt. Generally clean throughout; occasional marginal staining in vol. III. A handsome set.

FERMAT, PIERRE DE Varia Opera Mathematica

EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION of Fermat's Collected Works, containing the first publication of most of his work. "Fermat shares with Descartes the innovation of analytical geometry by applying algebra to geometry. He, independently, represented a curve by an equation defining its characteristic properties. He published little but, in the manner of his times, announced his discoveries in letters to other mathematicians. Among his discoveries was a general method of solving questions of maxima and minima, a method he used in 1629 and one in use today. He contributed basic concepts in the theory of numbers and probability. The above [Varia Opera], published after his death, first presented his work and correspondence" (Dibner 108). Provenance: the Inner Temple Library, with small ink stamp on title and a few other leaves; English mathematician Francis Maseres's (1731-1824) copy with his signature on front flyleaf and annotations in text. Folio, contemporary calf rebacked. With five engraved folding plates; engraved head and tailpieces, diagrams in text. Scarce portrait not present, as often. Occasional light browning and foxing. A very good copy. 
Price On Request

ALLEN, LESLIE Bryan and Darrow at Dayton: The Bible Evolution Trial

FIRST EDITION. Contains full record (with commentary) of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial.“The Eugenics Society officially endorsed sterilization in June 1926. Prior to this it had been nominally neutral on the issue, although in practice firmly supporting sterilization. By 1926 the scene was set for a more aggressive push. Leonard Darwinʼs big book The Need for Eugenic Reform came out in that year. It was an earnest work that comprehensively set out the wide gamut of arguments for and against eugenics, and sterilization, and it had a generally good reception.” –David Paul Crook, Darwinʼs Coat-Tails: Essays on Social DarwinismOctavo, original green cloth.

HOFMEISTER, WILHELM Die Lehre von der Pflanzenzelle

FIRST EDITION. Hofmeister describes the fundamental structures and processess of the cell, and gives the first account of what later became known as chromosomes. Hofmeister's work inspired Mendel to begin the research on plant hybridization that led to Mendel's discoveries on the inheritance of traits. Large octavo. Early quarter-calf over pebbled cloth. Spine lightly rubbed; stamp at title, generally clean. A sound, attractive copy. 

MORGAN, THOMS HUNT The Scientific Basis for Evolution

FIRST EDITION.Octavo, original maroon cloth.The Scientific Basis of Evolution documents a series of lectures that Morgan gave at Cornell University in 1931 on the topic of the biology of evolution. A year later, Morgan was awarded the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.


"A global environmental crisis threatens to overwhelm our children's generation. Mitigating the crisis will require a planetary perspective, long-term thinking, political courage and savvy, eloquence and leadership––all of which are in evidence in Al Gore's landmark book."–Carl SaganFIRST EDITION, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY AL GORE: "For the grandchildren of Sally and Paul Robinson". A fine copy in the original dust jacket. 


FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION of the Voyage of the Beagle.“The voyage of the Beagle has been by far the most important event in my life and has determined my whole career... I have always felt that I owe to the voyage the first real training or education of my mind.” - Charles Darwin, AutobiographyLarge octavo, original green cloth. Spine ends frayed, cloth with moderate soilling. A very good copy. 

HALLEY, EDMUND A Discourse of the Rule of the Decrease of the Height of the Mercury in the Barometer

FIRST EDITION of Halley's important paper detailing his unprecedented mathematical description of the relationship between barometric pressure and altitude above sea level.  In addition, Halley may have been the one to coin the term "barometer" in this paper.  This issue of Philosophical Transactions also includes Cassini's discovery of two new Saturnian satellites.  While much of Aristotelian theory had been firmly discarded by the 17th century, Aristotle's idea that meteors were an atmospheric phenomenon perservered.  "The first serious challenge to Aristotle's meteor hypothesis was proposed by Edmund Halley, Astronomer Royal. Unlike Aristotle, Halley continually tried to measure quantities. The height of the Earth's atmosphere is a typical example… In [his Discourse] he calculated that the atmosphere only extended to a height of some 40 to 45 miles. So if meteors were ignited exhalations, they had to occur below this height" (Physicists Look Back: Studies in the History of Physics, ed. John Roche). IN: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Issue No. 181 pp. 104-116. London: Royal Society of London, 1686.  The complete issue, no. 181, pp. 77-123. Small quarto, sympathetically rebound in modern three quarter calf over marbled boards. A few spots to text, generally fine condition.

DARWIN, CHARLES The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication

FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. In this work, Darwin first proposed his theory of pangenesis as the mechanism of heredity. The theory holds that body cells shed “gemmules” that collect in the reproductive organs, thus transmitting their characteristics to the next generation. Mendelʼs theory of genetics supplanted this theory in the early 1900s. Octavo, two volumes. Original green cloth. Light wear at head of both volumes; light spotting to spine of volume II. Cloth generally clean. An attractive set.

HOFMEISTER, WILHELM Allgemeine Morphologie der Gewächse

FIRST EDITION. "Hofmeister was a man of penetrating insight. He not only observed the constant changes in size, form and complexity that attended any embryological development: he also carried out physiological experiments and he constantly inquired: Hod does the observed form come to be? Here he had in mind the need to formulate explanations or interpretations, in general terms, incorporating mathematics and the physical sciences. These studies, which disclosed a new approach to morphology, were presented in ... Allgemeine Morphologie der Gewächse" –Claude Wilson Wardlaw, Essays on Form in Plants. Octavo, quarter cloth over original wrappers mounted on boards. (Bound upside-down and backwards). Generally clean. An attractive copy in original boards., 

FRANKLAND, EDWARD On a New Series of Organic Bodies Containing Metals

"From novel and highly obscure compounds he had discovered one of the great principles of all chemistry, which came to be known as valency. Although others, particularly August Kekulé, claimed priority for this discovery, Frankland was certainly the first to articulate the concept of what he called ‘combining power’. The results he later communicated to the Royal Society, and they were read to the society's meeting on 10 May 1852. This important paper was subsequently published as ‘On a new series of organic bodies containing metal’ (PTRS, 142, 1852, 417–44)" (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).  Frankland's research on "combining power" revolutionized modern structural chemistry and established his reputation as one of the most important theoretical chemists in the world.IN: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 142 pp. 417-444, 1852. First edition.  Fine extract bound beautifully in aged leather and boards.

LYELL, CHARLES The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man

SECOND AMERICAN EDITION. Lyell uses the evidence of fossil remains to place the age of the human race in the context of other historical artifacts such as glaciers and extinct species of animals. This was much longer than previously supposed. Lyell also comments on the ideas of species and race, and on the evolution theories of Lamarck, Chambers, Darwin, and Wallace.“Though written by a single author, Antiquity of Man was substantively and symbolically the work of all the human antiquity investigators. It drew extensively on Prestwichʼs and Evansʼs work in the Somme Valley, Pengellyʼs excavation of Brixham Cave, Flaconerʼs investigations of caves throughout Europe, and a variety of recent archaeological stud- ies... His knowledge of post-Tertiary geology and his reputation as theorist meant that, in expressing his belief in men among the mammoths, he tacitly spoke for all the geolo-gists working on the human antiquity question.” - A. Bowdoin Van Riper, Men Among the Mammoths: Victorian Science and the Discovery of Human PrehistoryOctavo. Original pebbled cloth. An attractive copy in original cloth. Generally clean throughout; spine ends frayed with loss, corners rubbed, gilt somewhat dulled. Generally a handsome and sound volume. 

WEISMANN, AUGUST Studies in the Theory of Descent

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of Weismann's Studien zur Descendez-Theorie (1875-1876).Weismann described the seasonal dimorphism of butterflies and then first proposed his theory of the mechanism of heredity. This theory is now called “blastogenesis”. This theory holds that inheritance takes place exclusively through the germ plasm and that none of the other cells of the body pass genetic information to germ cells. This means that the characteristics acquired during life are not transmitted onto the next generation. This is in direct conflict with Lamarckian evolutionary theory and Darinʼs earlier theory of “pangenesis”. Charles Darwin was very supportive of Weismannʼs work and wrote the introduction to this book.Octavo. Two volumes, early half-calf over brown boards.

WHEATSTONE, CHARLES The Bakerian Lecture. An account of several new instruments and processes for determining the constants of a voltaic circuit

First printing. "In 1843 Wheatstone published an experimental verification of Ohm's law, helping to make the law (already well known in Germany) more familiar in England. In connection with the verification he developed new ways of measuring resistances and currents. In particular, he invented the rheostat and popularized the Wheatstone bridge, originally invented by Samuel Christie."(DSB).In original paper wraps, uncut, enclosed in a decorative pamphlet case. Wraps and backing show dirt, some wear and a few repairs.

CUVIER, GEORGES Essay on the Theory of the Earth

FIRST AMERICAN EDITION.  “In paleontology, catastrophism reached an apogee in Georges Cuvierʼs... ʻEssay on the theory of the earth.” Cuvier did not present his Essay as a textbook of catastrophism, but as a statement about the roles that paleontology and geology should play in unravelling the history of the earth. Nonetheless, Cuvierʼs Essay exposes all characteristic features of catastrophism as a science, and illustrates the incompatibility of this geologi- cal approach with Darwinʼs prerequisites for natural selection as a chief agent of macro-evolutionary pattern.” - Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary TheoryOctavo. Complete with half-title and 8 engraved plates. Modern 1/4 calf over early marbled boards. Scattered foxing; glean throughout. A handsome copy. 

HUXLEY, THOMAS Evidence of Man's Place in Nature

FIRST EDITION (precedes the English edition of the same year). “Huxley wages his struggle [in favor of Darwinʼs theory of evolution] in the pages of his book--in its metaphors and myths, in its rhythms and repetitions, in its images and instructions. ʻThe difference between Man and Ape is less than the difference between Ape and Monkeyʼ--over and over the lesson is repeated, like on of the slogans in the Brave New World of Huxleyʼs grandson Aldous.” –Misia Landau, Narratives of Human Evolution Small 8vo. Original cloth, original spine lablel. Spine ends chipped, spine label and extremities lightly rubbed. Clean throughout. A very attractive copy. Synthesis of the anatomic and embryological evidence of human evolution. Contains a precursor to the “man evolved from apes” theory, noting the resemblance of manʼs skeleton to that of an ape. This predated Darwinʼs Descent of Man by 8 years.

DARWIN, CHARLES The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

FIRST EDITION, SECOND ISSUE.  “One batch of material proved too bulky for incorporation in the Descent of Man and Darwin held it over for separate treatment. This derived from his research into human and animal expressions...Though much of his analysis has been superseded, and was for modern scientific purposes marred by much unconscious anthropomorphism, he was convinced that an evolutionary continuity existed between the expressions (and hence mental life) of animals and humans, and that animals experience traces of every human emotion, including the moral feelings. In this sense,The Expression of the Emo- tions in Man and Animals completed his great cycle of evolutionary writings.” –Oxford Dictionary of National BiographyOctavo. Original green cloth. First edition, second issue with ʻhtatʼ for ʻthatʼ at top of page 208. Publisherʼs ads dated Nov. 1872. Spine ends rubbed, corners bumped; split at inner hinge. Clean throughout. An attractive copy.The Expression of Emotions describes how humans and animals express and signal their emotions to others. Darwin based his conclusions on worldwide questionnaires, photographs of actors, babies, and “imbeciles” in an asylum, as well as his own observations based on the grief expressed following a family death.

EVERETT, HUGH "Relative State" Formulation of Quantum Mechanics

FIRST EDITION of the famous Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. “Many worlds” is an alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation that creates a special role of the observer by postulating the collapse of the universal wave function at every observation.  Instead, Many Worlds proposes that the wave function never collapses, and views reality as a many-branched tree in which every possible outcome is realized through a splitting of reality into alternate universes – hence “many worlds.”In: Reviews of Modern Physics, vol. 29, no. 3, July, 1957, pp. 454-62, the entire issue in original orange printed wrappers offered here. Spine toned, owner signature on front wrapper, the word 'Gravitation' written in block letters at top of spine. A fresh, attractive copy.

WALLACE, ALFRED RUSSELL Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection

FIRST EDITION. Contains a series of Wallaceʼs essays on the topic of natural selection, some original and some reprinted (including the two papers he published prior to Origin of Species). This is Wallaceʼs first writing on the topic of natural selection with respect to man. His thesis was that natural selection alone cannot explain the evolution of man.Octavo, recent half-calf over marbled boards. Library stamps on recto and verso of title. A handsome copy. 

WELLS, WILLIAM CHARLES An Account of a Female of the White Race of Mankind, Part of Whose Skin Resembles that of a Negro; With some Observations on the Causes of the Differences in Colour and Form Between the White and Negro Races of Men

FIRST EDITION. "The first statement of the theory of natural selection and an almost complete anticipation of Darwin's theory" – Garrison Morton"[What was done for animals artificially] seems to be done with equal efficiency, though more slowly, by nature, in the formation of varieties of mankind, fitted for the country which they inhabit. Of the accidental varieties of man, which would occur among the first scattered inhabitants, some one would be better fitted than the others to bear the dis- eases of the country. This race would multiply while the others would decrease, and as the darkest would be the best fitted for the [African] climate, at length [they would] be- come the most prevalent, if not the only race."Wells presented “An Account of a Female of the White Race...” to the Royal Society in 1813 but the work was not published until 1818, after his death, as a paper in the volume entitled Two Essays. In this paper, Wells describeshow the natural selection process applies to skin color in humans.Octavo.

LAVOISIER, ANTOINE-LAURENT DE Méthode de nomenclature chimique, proposée par MM. de Morveau, Lavoisier, Bertholet, & de Fourcroy

"In place of false assumptions and designations devoid of any system, we find a correct idea of the qualitative composition of substances, and a rational nomenclature according with it."  - Professor E.V. Meyer, Sotheran's Price of Current Literature A watershed development in the history of chemistry."The first attempt to rectify the situation [of chemical nomenclature] was presented by [Louis Bernard Guyton] de Morveau in a paper entitled 'Sur les Dénominations Chymiques, la nécessité d'en perfectionner le system, & les règles pour y parvenir'… the phlogistonists, however, were unimpressed with de Morveau's recommendations… Lavoisier, who was in need of a new nomenclature, recognized the value of de Morveau's ideas" (Denis Duveen and Herbert Klickstein, Proceedings, American Philosophical Society), which led Lavoisier to discuss the issue with a group of the leading anti-phlogistonists. Lavoisier's updated system of rational nomenclature was adopted by the group and by de Morveau, and quickly became popular.Lavoisier's nomenclature has persisted into the modern day with very little modification. First edition, second issue.  Very good condition, inside and out.  Contemporary binding with boards slightly scuffed, some wrinkling of pages.  Interior is clean and bright with no library or other markings.

WALLACE, ALFRED RUSSEL Island Life: Or, the Phenomena and Causes of Insula Faunas and Floras, Including a Revision and Attempted Solution of the Problem of Geo- logical Climates

FIRST EDITION of one of Wallace's most important works. Wallace's treatment of the general distribution of island plant and animal life and the influence of the glacial epochs of these distribution patterns. Included is the first theory of continental glaciation, a discussion of island classification, and a survey of worldwide island faunas and floras.Octavo. Original green cloth. 3 maps (1 chromolithograph, 2 tinted); numer wood-engraved text illustrations throughout. A clean copy throughout; very minor rubbing at extremities. A very desirable copy.

BARDEEN, COOPER AND SCHRIEFFER "Bound Electron Pairs in a Degenerate Fermi Gas"; "Microscopic Theory of Superconductivity"; “Theory of Superconductivity”

FIRST PRINTING in original wrappers of arguably the most important paper in the field of superconductivity. The key ideas of the theory were announced in two short letters in two separate issues of The Physical Review before the full developed theory was published in December, 1957. The issues with the original letters are also included in the original wrappers, making this a scarce complete set of the full published account of one of the defining moments in modern physics. The BCS theory of superconductivity was proposed by John Bardeen, Leon Cooper and John Schrieffer in 1956-7.  This theory describes superconductivity as a microscopic effect caused by a quantum mechanical "condensation" of pairs of electrons (called “Cooper pairs”) into a boson-like state.  Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory." IN: The Physical Review, Second Series, Vol. 108, No. 5, p.1175-1204. Lancaster, PA, 1957. The complete issue in original blue printed wrappers. WITH: The Physical Review, Second Series, Vol. 104, No. 4 and Vol. 106, No.1, both in original wrappers. Slight sunning to spines, otherwise fine with no marks.  Housed in leather backed pamphlet case.


FIRST EDITION of Jevons's explanation of his "logical piano"; a landmark in computer science.To the reader of the preceding paper it will be evident that mechanism is capable of replacing for the most part the action of thought required in the performance of logical deduction. Mental agency is required only in interpreting correctly the grammatical structure of the premises, and in gathering the purport of the reply... The machine is thus the embodiment of a true symbolic method or Calculus... Jevons invented a "logical piano" (so named because it resembled a small upright piano) that could perform, through a sequence of switches, various types of logical calculations. In doing so, he became "the first person to construct a machine with sufficient power to solve a complicated problem faster than the problem could be solved without the machine's aid" (Goldstine). "On the Mechanical Performance of Logical Inference," a paper Jevons read before the Royal Society on January 20, 1870, is his most detailed description of this early prototype of the modern computer. The logical piano now stands in the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford.In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London for the year 1870, pp. 497-518, Vol. 160, Part II (the complete volume). London: Taylor and Francis, 1870. Quarto, modern half-calf over marbled boards, with the original wrappers bound-in. A fine copy.

DESCARTES, RENE Rene Descartes' Epistolae omnes, SECOND EDITION (1692)

SECOND EDITION. Descartes’ letters are 352 in number and contain the author’s physical and mathematical correspondence with Hobbes, Fermat, Mersenne, Roberval, the Cambridge Platonist Henry More, and several others, with many mathematical papers of Fermat that did not appear in his Opera Varia. Small quarto. Early vellum with title in elegant script on spine. Occasional browning throughout, generally clean. A very handsome copy.

HERSCHEL, WILLIAM AND HERSCHEL, JOHN Three Papers by William and John Hercshel

First printings of three important papers demonstrating the universal validity of Newton's laws of gravity and motion. Extracted from Philosophical Transactions 93, pt2; 94, pt. 2; 114, pt. 3.Isaac Newton developed the laws of physics (motion and gravity) from observations on earth and the motions of the moon and planets within the solar system, and though scientists believed these laws to be universal, it was more than 100 years before they were demonstrated to hold outside the solar system. William Herschel published the results of a 25 year program of measuring the motion of binary stars in in two parts, in 1803 and 1804. He was able to demonstrate that orbital motion of these double stars obeyed Newton’s law of gravity and motion, thus providing the first scientific evidence of the validity of the laws of physics outside our solar system. More than 20 years later in 1824, William Herschel’s son John Frederick William Herschel (1792–1871) published an even larger study of the motion of double stars (360 in all) that supported his father’s earlier work. “Account of the Changes that have Happened, During the Last Twenty-five Years, in the Relative Situation of Double-Stars, with an Investigation of the Cause to which they are Owing” by William Herschel (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 93 Part 2 pp. 339-382, 1803)“Continuation of an Account of the Changes That Have Happened in the Relative Situation of Double Stars” by William Herschel (Extract from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 94 Part II pp. 353-384, 1804)“Observations of the Apparent Distances and Positions of 380 Double and Triple Stars, Made in the Years 1821, 1822, and 1823, and Compared with Those of Other Astronomers; Together with an Account of Such Changes as Appear to Have Taken Place in Them Since Their First Discovery. Also a Description of a Five-Feet Equatorial Instrument Employed in the Observations” by John Herschel (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 114 Part 3, 1824) Very good condition. The first and third extracts are untrimmed and bound in early paper wraps; the second is a more recent extract and lacks wrappers. All are housed in an attractive custom clamshell box. 

THOMSON, J.J. Two papers confirming the discovery of the Electron: "On the Charge of Electricity carried by the Ions produced by Röntgen Rays" WITH: “On the Masses of the Ions in Gases at Low Pressures"

FIRST EDITIONS OF THOMSON'S PAPERS ON THE DISCOVERY OF THE ELECTRON.  The two papers  demonstrated the discovery of the electron. In 1897, J. J. Thomson completed measurements of cathode rays and announced on April 30, 1897 that they are comprised of corpuscles with a charge to mass ratio (e/m) roughly one thousand times that of the hydrogen ion. Because he thought that the charge of the corpuscle might be the same as the hydrogen ion measured in electrolysis, he speculated that the mass of the negatively charged corpuscle could be as little as one thousandth of the hydrogen atom.  This was printed in the famous paper "Cathode Rays."  In the following two years, Thomson conducted additional experiments to determine (rather than just infer) the charge of the corpuscle and improve the precision of his measurements of e/m.  He also performed  these measurements on corpuscles generated through other  mechanisms (e.g., ions created by X-rays) and found that the results were the same regardless of source.  In 1899, in the second of these papers, Thomson concluded that the corpuscle was a subatomic particle with a mass 1/1000 of the mass of the hydrogen atom, thus confirming the discovery of the electron. "On the Charge of Electricity carried by the Ions produced by Röntgen Rays" (The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 46 pp. 528-545, 1898) and “On the Masses of the Ions in Gases at Low Pressures,” (The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 48 pp. 547-567, 1899).Two volumes. Quarto. Both volumes beautifully bound in leather and boards.  Back of title pages strengthened.  Otherwise fine.

DINSDALE, ALFRED Television (Seeing by Wire or Wireless)

Dinsdale's Seeing by Wire or Wireless was the first book entirely devoted to subject of television.  Dinsdale gives and account of the demonstration of John Baird's successful television system in January 1926, details similar previous experiments, and describes the mechanics of television.  Overall, the history of television is well-documented in Dinsdale's work, and Baird's system paved the way for future developments in television, leading to the first high-definition broadcasting system in 1936. First edition.  Original wraps, no dust cover; in clamshell box.

SPENCER, HERBERT Herbert Spencer's The Principles of Biology, FIRST EDITION

FIRST EDITION.More than six years ago Mr. Herbert Spencer published, in his ʻPrinciples of Biology,ʼ a view of the nature and origin of the Annulose type of animals, which goes to the very root of the whole question [of biological evolution]; and, if this view is a sound one, it must materially affect the interpretation of all embryological and anatomical facts bearing on this great subject, that those who work in ignorance of it can hardly hope to arrive at true results. –Alfred Russel Wallace, 1872Octavo. Two volumes.Half-titles, publisher's original cloth, spines faded, one joint split. Uniformally toned at spines and board edges, light wear at spine ends; water damage and bubbling to rear board of vol. I; traces of light dampstaining at rear of vol. I and early gatherings of vol. II. Biology as interpreted via evolution. Spencer introduced the phrase “survival of the fittest” in The Principles of Biology. Darwin later said that he preferred this phrase to his own “natural selection”. RARE.

MAXWELL, JAMES CLERK On the Dynamical Theory of Gases

FIRST EDITION of one of Maxwell’s seminal papers: the most developed and complete exploration of his theory of gases.“Ever since his brilliant but flawed paper of 1860 on gas theory, James had been mulling over new ideas on the topic. In 1866 he brought them to fruition in a paper, On the Dynamical Theory of Gases. His earlier paper had given the world its first statistical law of physics—the Maxwell distribution of molecular velocities—and had predicted that the viscosity of a gas was independent of its pressure,” but significant problems remained. Although Maxwell’s earlier theory of gases predicted that the viscosity of a gas varied with the square root of absolute temperature, his own experimental evidence contradicted his theory. “The fault seemed to lie in James’ original assumption that when molecules collided they behaved like billiard balls, in other words that they were perfectly elastic spheres. He now tried the alternative assumption that they did not actually come into contact at all but repelled one another with a force that varied inversely with the nth power of the separation distance… Some fiendishly complicated mathematics followed… [but] he found two ways to simplify the calculations.“One was to introduce the notion of relaxation time, the time a system takes to return to a state of equilibrium after being disturbed. This is a concept now routinely used throughout physics and engineering… Like so many of Maxwell’s innovations, it has become so familiar that one wonders why nobody had thought of it before.” The other simplification concerned varying the value of n until he reached simpler relationships that corresponded to experimental results. “Even with the simplifications, the mathematical obstacles were as formidable as those James had faced when tackling Saturn’s rings. He overcame them with such mastery that some scholars consider this the most inspiring of all his works. The young Ludwig Boltzmann, already working on his own first great paper, was entranced.” Ultimately, Maxwell “was able to work out formulae not only for viscosity but for diffusion, heat conduction and other properties, which agreed with known experimental results. It was a seminal paper. He had not only corrected and extended his earlier work but had greatly strengthened the theory that gases (and, by extension, all forms of matter) were composed of molecules. Most of all, he had set the theory on a firm base, on which he, Boltzmann and others could build.” (Basil Mahon, The Man who Changed Everything: The Life of James Clerk Maxwell).IN: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society... for the year 1867, Vol. 157, pp. 49-88. London: Taylor and Francis, 1868. The whole volume offered: 672 pages with volume title and index. Quarto, modern three-quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt-decorated spine with leather labels. Small ocassional stamps from the Athenaeum Library, Liverpool (including one in Maxwell paper); deaccession stamp from Gesamthochschul-Bibliothek Duisburg on verso of volume title. Text very clean with wide margins, handsomely bound.


FIRST EDITIONS OF FOUR KEY PAPERS IN EVOLUTIONARY GAME THEORY BY RICHARD LEWONTIN AND JOHN MAYNARD SMITH. “Evolution and the Theory of Games” by Richard C. Lewontin (Journal of Theoretical Biology 1 Issue 3 pp. 382-403, July 1961); "Game Theory and the Evolution of Fighting" by John Maynard Smith  (John Maynard Smith on Evolution, Edinburgh University Press, 1972);  "The Logic of Animal Conflict by John Maynard Smith and G. R. Price (Nature 246  No. 5427 pp. 15-18, November 2 1973); "The Theory of Games and the Evolution of Animal Conflicts" by John Maynard Smith (Journal of Theoretical Biology 47 pp. 209–221, 1974) Evolutionary game theory is the application of game theory to the modeling of Darwinian evolution.  An "evolutionarily stable strategy" (ESS) is a Nash equilibrium that is stable in an evolutionary sense. Once it is fixed in a population, natural selection will prevent alternative (mutant) strategies from invading successfully. ESS can be used to explain many stable outcomes seen in the animal world, such as the ratio of males to females in the population.The earliest paper to suggest the use of game theory in evolution was Richard Lewontin's "Evolution and the Theory of Games," published in 1961. This paper introduced the concepts of game theory to many biologists.  In 1972, John Maynard Smith defined the ESS concept in the article “Game Theory and the Evolution of Fighting.”  However, it was the publication of “The Logic of Animal Conflict,” by Maynard Smith and Price in 1973 that introduced the concept of an ESS into widespread circulation. Smith further developed this work in 1974.  Since then, there has been an explosion of interest by economists and social scientists in evolutionary game theory. All items are in fine condition, enclosed in fitted compartments in a beautiful leather clamshell box. The Lewontin paper is in the form of a beautifully bound copy of issue 3 extracted from the bound journal volume.  The first Maynard Smith paper is in a fine volume with fine dust cover; The second Maynard Smith paper is in an individual issue of Nature that is fine with the exception of a mailing label and library stamp on the front wrap.  The final paper in included in the form of a beautifully bound extract.

DE BROGLIE, LOUIS-VICTOR FIRST EDITION of de Broglie’s Theory of the Wave-Particle Duality of Matter (PMM 417)

FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS of de Broglie’s presentation of his revolutionary theory of the wave-particle duality of matter. PMM 417.De Broglie’s work “served as the basis for developing the general theory nowadays known by the name of wave mechanics, a theory which has utterly transformed our knowledge of physical phenomena on the atomic scale.”Octavo, original printed wrappers; custom cloth box. Modest bookplate on inside front wrapper; tape repair to initial blank. Minor discoloration to wrapper edges; an excellent copy.

WEGENER, ALFRED [Theory of Continental Drift: Five Landmark First Editions]

FIVE FIRST EDITIONS DOCUMENTING THE INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF WEGENER'S THEORY OF CONTINENTAL DRIFTIf we are to believe in Wegener’s hypothesis we must forget everything which has been learned in the last 70 years and start all over again –Alexander du Toit, Our Wandering Continents (1937).From the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s most geologists worked within Permanentist or Contractionist frameworks. Few adhered to Drift. From the mid-1950s, two developments took place. First, some groups of geologists concentrated on new phenomena and geophysical data which had come to light since Wegener. Second, new versions of Drift were put forward... By the early 1970s the ‘modern revolution’ in geology was complete: the plate tectonics version of Drift, in which the surface of the earth was composed of slowly-moving slabs of crust, was firmly entrenched as the new orthodoxy.  –Homer Eugene LeGrand, Drifting Continents and Shifting Theories Wegener, Alfred. "Die Entstehung der Kontinente" (Mitteilung aus Justus Perthes’ geographischer Anstalt 58 pp. 185–195, 253–256, 305–309, 1912)WITH: "History of Ocean Basins" by Harry H. Hess (Petologic studies: a volume in honor of A. F. Buddington. Geologic Society of America pp. 599-620, 1962)WITH: "Evidence from Islands on the Spreading of Ocean Floors" by J. Tuzo Wilson (Nature 197 no. 4867 pp. 536–538, 9 February 1963) WITH: "A new Class of Faults and their Bearing on Continental Drift" by J. Tuzo Wilson (Nature 207 no. 4995 pp. 343–347,24 July 1965)WITH: "Did the Atlantic close and then re-open?" by J. Tuzo Wilson (Nature 211 no. 5050 pp. 676–68, August 13, 1966); and "Seismology and the New Global Tectonics" by Jack Oliver et al. (Journal of Geophysical Research 73 No. 18 pp. 5855-5899, 1968).

GALILEI, GALILEO Opere di Galileo Galilei Nobile Fiorentino Accademico Linceo

Second edition of Galileo's collected works; an important edition containing a wealth of material (nearly all of volume 3) not included in the 1655-56 first collected edition. The first two volumes are essentially a reprint of the 1655-56 Bologna edition, while the third volume contains previously unpublished material. Sometimes referred to as  the "first complete edition", although this edition does not include the Dialogo nor the Letter to the Grand Duchess Cristina, both of which were still on the Index Prohibitorum. Edited by Tommaso Buonaventuri.Quarto, contemporary full vellum with leather labels; edges speckled red. Three volumes. With engraved frontispiece portrait of Galileo, engraved vignette with view of Florence on first title page with title page printed in red and black, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, woodcut diagrams, folding engraved plate. A few cosmetic cracks to vellum at joints. Faint evidence of stamp removal on title pages, two small spots of dampstaining on top margin of first few leaves of vol 1; tiny worming on first few leaves of vol 3. Text extremely clean with wide margins. A beautiful set.

BAYES, THOMAS An essay towards solving a problem in the Doctrine of Chances

First edition of Thomas Bayes's extremely influential work on the concept of "inverse probability", the basis of modern statistical inference.Bayes's paper marked “a truly Copernican revolution in statistical concept ... [It] served to embed his name in what has become ... one of the most widely known eponyms in all of science, Bayesian inference ... The ideas this essay contains have been of vast influence” (S. M. Stigler, The History of Statistics).''Bayes, a Nonconformist minister, published only two works during his lifetime: Divine Benefits (1731), a religious treatise; and Introduction to the Doctrine of Fluxions (1736), in which he responded to Bishop Berkeley's attack on the logical foundations of Newton's calculus. For the latter work he was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1742. In 1763, two years after Bayes's death, Richard Price, a fellow Non­conformist minister, economist, and actuary to whom Bayes had bequeathed his papers, found Bayes's Essay and submitted it to the Royal Society for publication. The arguments in Bayes's paper were adopted by Laplace, who saw in them the basis for statistical inference; they were later challenged by George Boole in his Laws of Thought.“Bayes’s Essay contains the first statement of Bayes's Theorem for calculating 'inverse probabilities', which forms the basis for methods of decision analysis, statistical learning machines, and Bayesian networks. Bayesian networks are complex diagrams that organise the body of knowledge in any given area by mapping out cause-and­-effect relationships among key variables and encoding them with numbers that represent the extent to which one variable is likely to affect another. Programmed into computers, these systems can automatically generate optimal predictions or decisions even when key pieces of information are missing. Bayesian or subjective decision theory is arguably the most comprehensive theory of decision-making; however, until the late 1980s, it had little impact due to the stupefying complexity of the mathematics involved. The rapid advances in computing power and the development of key mathematical equations during the late 1980s and early 1990s made it possible to compute Bayesian networks with enough variables to be useful in practical applications" (Hook & Norman).With the advent of the Internet, Bayesian networks have been applied extensively to fundamental search structures. "Search giant Google and Autonomy, a company that sells information retrieval tools, both employ Bayesian principles to provide likely (but technically never exact) results to data searches. Researchers are also using Bayesian models to determine correlations between specific symptoms and diseases, create personal robots, and develop artificially intelligent devices that 'think' by doing what data and experience tell them to do" (Michael Kanellos, "18th-century theory is new force in computing").Only one other mathematical contribution of Bayes has come down to us, which appears on pp. 269-71. It is referred to by Price on p. 401 of the Essay in connection with the evaluation of factorials needed for the second rule. In this paper Bayes considers the series for log n! given by Stirling and de Moivre. He makes the important observation that "at length the subsequent terms of this series are greater than the preceding ones, and increase in infinitum, and therefore the whole series can have no ultimate value whatsoever" (p. 270). This was contrary to de Moivre's view that the series "converged, but slowly". Bayes was, in fact, the first to appreciate the asymptotic character of Stirling's series: there is now an extensive theory of such 'asymptotic series'. The present volume also contains a paper by Ferguson on the anticipated 1769 transit of Venus, which prompted Captain Cook's voyage to Tahiti, and led to the first accurate measurement of the sun's distance, illustrated with a fine large folding engraved plate.An essay towards solving a problem in the Doctrine of Chances. By the late Rev. Mr. Bayes F.R.S. Communicated by Mr. Price in a Letter to John Canton, A.M. F.R.S. in Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LIII (1763), pp. 370-418. London: L. Davis and C. Reymers, Printers to the Royal Society, 1764. With 26 engraved plates, mostly folding. Quarto, contemporary full calf rebacked. The entire volume, #53 for 1763 offered. "Belfast Society" in gilt on front board. Moderate wear to contemporary boards with renewed corners and edges; interior fine.