Memoire sur la diffraction de la lumiere - Théorie de la diffraction / Suite du memoire sur la diffraction de la lumiere. In: Annales de Chimie et de Physique, Vol. XI, pp. 246-296 and 337-378, 1 folding engraved plate.
Paris: Crochard, 1819.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003645
8vo (200 x 121 mm). Entire volume, 448 pp., half-title, general title and 3 folding engraved plates. 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 (lower joint split, upper joint split at head, leather and extremities rubbed, minor wear and bumping to corners). Little age-toning and minor occasional spotting. 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, pp. 165-171. FIRST EDITION. "Fresnel succeeded fully in attaining his explicit goal, the establishment of the wave conception of light. Not long after his death scientific opinion definitely shifted in favor of waves and opened up the pathway leading to the deeper insights of Maxwell" (DSB). The French Academy of Sciences announced on March 17, 1817 that the theme of the next biannual Grand Prix de Physique de l'Académie, which would be awarded in 1819, is the diffraction of light. Manuscripts had to be submitted before August 1, 1818 to allow the jury to examine the work and, if necessary, to verify it experimentally. At that time, Fresnel was busy with his research on the polarization of light, which he carried out on the sidelines of his duties as a civil engineer. Arago and Ampère encouraged him to compete and therefore to resume his work on diffraction. Fresnel produced two preparatory papers in which he described the mathematical basis of the theory of light waves. On January 15, 1818, in an additional note to an article on polarization, he established the equation of light waves in the form of sinusoidal functions and showed that the composition of two waves can be expressed in a form analogous to the composition of two forces. In a sealed note filed on April 20, 1818, Fresnel outlined an elementary theory of diffraction by reformulating Huygens' principle in combination with the principle of superposition. He finally submitted his memoir to the Academy on July 29, 1818 and the unanimous jury crowned it on March 15, 1819. Part of the memoir, section II, was printed immediately in this volume XI of the Annales de Physique et de Chimie (July-August 1819). The entire memoir, slightly modified, was published in 1826 in volume 5 of the Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences and was republished in 1866 in the first volume of the Complete Works of Augustin Fresnel.
Fresnel rediscovered the law of interferences previously sketched by Thomas Young and established its mathematical expression. By associating the principle of secondary wavelets formulated by Christian Huygens and the rule of combination of light waves explaining interference he established the foundation of wave optics, known as the Huygens-Fresnel principle. - Visit our website to see more images!
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