Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1900.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #003769
Entire first year (1899) and second year (1900) of this journal present, bound in one volume. 8vo (223 x 148 mm). vi, 292; vi, 260 pp., including general titles, member directories, and text diagrams. Contemporary half cloth and marbled boads (interim binding), spine with hand-written paper label and small sticker (extremities rubbed, minor paper chipping to board edges and spine label). Text bright and clean throughout. Provenance: Naturkundig Laboratorium Leiden (date stamp to upper corner of first page of each issue of 1899 vol.); Physisch Kabinet Leiden (ink stamps to book block edges and first title). A fine copy, collated and complete. ----
RARE FIRST EDITION of the "first printing of Planck's quantum theory, marking the dividing line between classical and modern physics. In attempting to define the characteristics of black-body radiation and the radiation of energy at high frequencies by hot bodies (the so-called 'ultraviolet catastrophe'). Planck postulated that radiant heat or energy is emitted in the form of sudden discrete bursts or 'quanta', each representing a quantity of energy equal to the product of the frequency of the vibration in the emitted radiation (v) and a universal constant (h) [the Planck constant]" (Norman).
"Here was a revolutionary theory. It contradicted the mechanics of Newton and the electromagnetics of Faraday and Maxwell. Moreover it challenged the notion of the continuity of nature. [. . .] The quantum theory has affected virtually every branch of physics. Its earliest and one of its most significant developments was Einstein's application of the theory to what is known as the 'photo-electric effect'. If ultra-violet light or X-rays are passed through a gas, some of its atoms are broken up and electrons are emitted from it. A puzzling feature of this phenomenon is that neither the number nor the speed of the ejected electrons bears a direct relation to the intensity of the beam. Feeble radiation of high frequency may be much more effective than intense radiation at low frequency; but if the frequency of light is below a given figure no electrons will be ejected, however intense the beam. Above that figure the energy of the electrons depends on frequency and their number on intensity. Einstein explained this by suggesting that the classical view that light is emitted in the form of continuous waves must be abandoned. The photo-electric effect could be explained only as an example of quantum action where the waves of light or X-rays are emitted in minute particles or bullets. It is the size of the bullet (the wave-length of the radiation) which determines the number of electrons ejected. It was for this, and not for the theory of relativity, that Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. [. . .] Planck was the President of the Kaiser-Wilhelm- Gesellschaft from 1930 to 1937 but was deposed by the Nazis. After the Second World War the Gesellschaft was refounded under his name" (PMM).
Also contained in the in this volume are two other papers by Planck: Ueber eine Verbesserung der Wierfschen Spectralgleichung, pp. 202-204; and Ein vermeintlicher Widerspruch des magneto-optischen Faraday-effectes mit der Thermodynamik, pp. 206-210.
References: PMM, Printing and the Mind of Man 391a; Dibner Heralds 166; Grolier/Horblit 26a; Norman 1713. - Visit our website to see more images!
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