München: Verl. d. Königl. Bayer. Akad. d. Wiss. 1912.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002092
In: Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-physikalische Klasse, 1912, pp. 303-322 and 363-373. München: Verl. d. Königl. Bayer. Akad. d. Wiss., 1912. Large 12mo (220x142 mm). With 3 line block diagrams in text and 5 collotype plates (stiff plates mounted on studs with white gaffer tape not affecting images). Whole volume: iv, 80, 620 pp., 11 plates and tables (2 folding). Contemporary half-cloth with shelf-mark to spine, general title page with 3 library stamps. Internally little age-toned (outer margins a bit stronger). Provenance: Institut für theoretische Physik, Frankfurt am Main. ----
PMM 406a; Norman 1283 (offprint); D.S.B. VIII, p.50. - FIRST EDITION. - Laue's Nobel Prize-winning report of "one of the most beautiful discoveries in physics" (Einstein). X-rays had been in wide use for years before their exact nature was elucidated by Laue, Max Planck's principal assistant and close colleague. "In the spring of 1912, Laue had the crucial idea of sending X-rays through crystals. At this time scientists were very far from having proven the supposition that the radiation that Roentgen had discovered in 1895 actually consisted of very short electromagnetic waves. Similarly, the physical composition of crystals was in dispute, although it was frequently stated that a regular structure of atoms was the characteristic property of crystals. Laue argued that if these suppositions were correct, then the behavior of X-ray radiation upon penetrating a crystal should be approximately the same as that of light upon striking a diffraction grating" (D.S.B.), an instrument used for calculating the wavelengths of light, inapplicable to X-rays because their wavelength is too short. An associate, Walter Friedrich, and Laue's student Paul Knipping began experimenting along these lines on April 12, 1912, and succeeded in producing a regular pattern of dark points on a photographic plate placed behind a copper sulfate cyrstal which had been bombarded with X-rays. Laue's second paper contains his complicated mathematical explanation of the effect, later known as the Laue-Friedrich-Knipping phenomenon. His discoveries earned Laue the Nobel Prize in physics for 1914.
This is the exceedingly rare journal issue, actually much rarer than the offprints (the last 5 copies at auction in the past 30 years have all been offprints issues). The rarity can be explained not only by the low print-run of the journal, but also of its local character and low distribution level, with public libraries being the common subscribers.
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