Paris: Gogue & Nee de la Rochelle, 1784.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Near Fine. Item #001711
8vo. (192x120 mm). , 236 pp. Half-title, 8 folding engraved plates by Sellier after Fossier. Contemporary quarter calf, spine gilt. Somewhat browned and foxed, half title stronger). ----
Dibner 92; Horblit 47; Sparrow 93; Norman 1021-1022, Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1020; Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 53-6. - FIRST EDITION of the work that laid the foundation for the mathematical theory of crystal structure. Often thought of as the founder of crystallography, Hauy proposed the idea of the crystal molecule and recognized that, based on the discontinuity principle, there are limited varieties of a crystal species. (Dibner). Haüy's first printed book, this work was instrumental in establishing a solid foundation on which modern theories of crystal structure rest. In it, Haüy brought together the advances in crystallography made by Romé de l'Isle, Bergman and others into a coherent structural theory, based on the structural unit, the "molecule constituante" (later renamed by him to "molecule integrante"). Haüy's model depicted crystals as built up out of these molecular units which were polyhedral in form. Haüy also theorized a common "nucleus" or "primitive form" for all crystals of the same "species." This primative form was often revealed by cleavage of a crystal symmetrically along its angles and edges. Haüy's theory of crystal structure changed little in its essentials during the remainder of his career, which went on for almost forty years after the publication of the Essai. (Mineralogical Record online Library).
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