Berlin: G. Reimer, 1847.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003287
8vo (220 x 139 mm). , 72 pp. Contemporary German half cloth over marbled boards, hand-lettered paper label to upper board, original printed wrappers bound in, original endpapers, custom black cloth clamshell case (rubbing of boards and extremities, smaller patches of frayed cloth along hinges). Light age-toning of text, minor occasional foxing, vertical crease in printed wrappers, text marking in light pencil on two pages. Provenance: C. Bergmann (signature on front wrapper and title); Rostock University Library (ink stamp repeated 4 times); Peter & Margarethe Braune (bookplate to front pastedown). A very good copy in untouched binding. ----
PMM 323; Horblit 48; Dibner 159; Norman 1039; Sparrow 96; Garrison-Morton 611; DSB VI, p.244-246. FIRST EDITION, AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE WITH THE ORIGINAL PRINTED WRAPPERS PRESERVED. "The first comprehensive statement of the first law of thermodynamics: that all modes of energy, heat, light, electricity, and all chemical phenomena, are capable of transformation from one to the other but are indestructible and cannot be created" (PMM). In his brilliant analysis of the conservation of energy, Helmholtz classified different forms of energy and kinds of force and motion, into kinetic or potential. He gave mathematical expression to the energy of motion, thus providing "a fundamental measure in research of all forces including muscular and chemical" (Dibner).
"Ueber die Erhaltung der Kraft (1847) set forth the philosophical and physical basis of the conservation of energy. It drew heavily on the works of Sadi Carnot, Clapeyron, Holtzmann, and Joule, although it was far more comprehensive than those previous treatises. The philosophical introduction clearly illustrated the influence of Kantianism on Helmholtz' thought. Science, he began, views the world in terms of two abstractions, matter and force. The goal of science is to trace phenomena to their ultimate causes in accordance with the law of causality; such ultimate causes are unchangeable forces. We can, Helmholtz implied, know the nature of such forces virtually a priori. If we imagine matter dispersed into its ultimate elements, then the only conceivable change which can occur in the relationship of those elements is spatial. Ultimate forces, then, must be moving forces radially directed. Only the reduction of phenomena to such forces constitutes an explanation to which we may ascribe the status of 'objective truth' . . . That ultimate forces must be of this nature can also be inferred from the impossibility of producing work continually from nothing. That impossibility, Helmholtz demonstrated, is equivalent to the well-known principle of the conservation of vis viva. Assuming that principle to hold for a system of bodies in motion, Helmholtz attempted to prove that the forces under which those bodies move must be functions only of position (and hence not of velocity or acceleration) and also radially directed . . . Helmholtz then demonstrated how the conservation principle could be applied to various physical phenomena. The principle of the conservation of vis viva had already been applied to gravitation, wave motion, and inelastic collision. Previously an absolute loss of force had been assumed in inelastic collision and friction. Helmholtz argued to the contrary that the vis viva apparently lost in such cases is merely converted to tension forces or heat; on the latter assumption Joule had recently measured a mechanical equivalent of heat equal to 521' meter-kilograms per calorie in mks units. Helmholtz then proceeded to an extended defense of the dynamic theory of heat against the caloric theory, arguing that the free heat of a body consists in the microscopic motion of its particles, its latent heat in the tension forces between its atoms. He then introduced the equations of Clapeyron and Holtzmann for the expansion of gases. The derivation of Clapeyron's equations, he pointed out, rests upon the untenable assumption that no heat is lost when work is done by a gas in expanding. He concluded by applying the conservation principle to electrostatic, galvanic, and electrodynamic phenomena." (DSB VI, pp. 243-244). - Visit our website for additional images and information!
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