Mémoire sur la diffraction de la lumière, où l'on examine particulièrement le phénomène des franges colorées que présentent les ombres des corps éclairés par un point lumineux. In: Annales de Chimie et de Physique, Vol. I (2nd series), pp. 239-281, 1 folding engraved plate.
Paris: Crochard, 1816.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003644
8vo (200 x 121 mm). Entire volume, , 452 pp., half-title and general title. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards, spine with gilt decoration, gilt-lettered labels and additional printed and hand-lettered paper label, brown sprinkled edges, original light-blue endpapers (leather and extremities rubbed, minor wear and bumping to corners). Little age-toning and minor occasional foxing. Provenance: Lycee Faidherbe de Lille (title and some text pages with old library stamp, shelf mark in manuscript to title). Good copy, collated complete. ----
Poggendorff I, 800. DSB V, 165-171. FIRST EDITION of Fresnel's milestone paper and his first on diffraction. Fresnel's work was reviewed by Arago who pointed out to him that he had largely reproduced Young's findings but that some of his observations were new. As Fresnel had made his experiments with sunlight, Arago advised him to come and redo them in Paris in monochromatic light to obtain more precise and indisputable measurements and what Fresnel was able to do at the beginning of 1816. He satisfactorily explained the formation of fringes in the shadow of a narrow object (a thread) and approximately the fringes outside the shadow. According to Emile Verdet "Ce qui appartient en propre à Fresnel et dont on n'aperçoit aucune trace chez ses devanciers, c'est l'idée féconde d'expliquer les lois de la réflexion et de la réfraction par le principe des interférences" (what belongs specifically to Fresnel and of which we see no trace in his predecessors, is the fruitful idea of explaining the laws of reflection and refraction by the principle of interference). Fresnel also remarked that the rays which have been obscured by the discordance of their vibrations become luminous again afterwards in the part of the path where the undulations are in agreement, and that thus they can resume their brilliance after having lost it momentarily." The result of wave interference is transient and localized in space and time. The waves continue on their way, overlapping, if they are not stopped on an observation screen. This is an expression of the principle of superposition. "In broad context Fresnel's work can be viewed as the first successfull assault on the theory of imponderables and a major influence on the development of nineteenth-centurty energetics." (DSB). - Visit our website to see more images!
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