London: W. Bulmer for G. & W. Nicol, 1802.
1st Edition. Soft cover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003564
4to (295 x 237 mm). Two parts in two volumes. vi, , 1-212, 26; iv, 213-535 ,  pp., part titles, index bound at end, and 17 engraved plates. Original blue simple paper wrappers, all pages untrimmed and partially unopened (wrappers soiled and spotted, spine repaired using the original paper). Housed in custom-made clamshell box. Text and plates generally crisp and clean with only very little age-toning, some dust soiling mostly to edges and outer margins, first few pages of part II with light marginal dampstaining at upper corner and a single wormhole to second half. Provenance: Benjamin Hyett Esq. (signed on front wrapper of part II). A fine, unsophisticated copy in original wrappers, rarely ever found on the market. ----
Young's paper part 1: Dibner 152; PMM 259; Norman 2275. Paper part 2: Norman 2276 - FIRST EDITION. Part 1 is 'an epoch-making contribution to the theory of light in all its phases'. Read as the Bakerian lecture, November 12, 1801, Young firmly endorsed Huygen's wave theory of light, displacing Newton's corpuscular theory which had been favoured for most of the 18th century, and so found explanations for unresolved optical phenomena such as interference. Part 2 is a further explanation of the wave theory.
Also in this volume: WOLLASTON, William Hyde. A Method of examining refractive and dispersive Powers, by prismatic Reflection. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 92, Part I, 1802, 4to. pp. 365-380 - Sparrow, Milestones of Science 198. - The third major scientific discovery announced in this volume of the Transactions is Wollaston's discovery of black lines crossing the colored band of the solar spectrum. 'The science of astrophysics began' with Wollaston's report of this phenomenon to the Royal Society (Singer, Short History of Scientific Ideas to 1900). Wollaston's examination of the solar spectrum, here described, revealed for the first time the numerous black lines afterwards connected with the name of Fraunhofer; and his paper is one of the most significant 'incunabula' of the discovery of spectrum analysis. Twelve years later the appearance of these dark lines (called 'Fraunhofer lines') was confirmed by the maker of Wollaston's original spectroscope. - Visit our website to see more images!
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