Paris: Victor Masson, 1859. 1st Edition. ORIGINAL WRAPS. FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST FULL PUBLICATION OF THE RESULTS OF FIZEAU'S EXPERIMENTS WITH THE VELOCITY OF LIGHT. Note that the brief announcement of Fizeau's experiment was first published in Comptes Rendus in 1851. This paper "is less famous, for some reason, than the failure of Michelson and Morley to detect the aether drag, but no less significant. For it showed that the velocity of light increases in a medium according to the formula, v (1 - 1/n2), where v is the velocity of the medium, and n is the refractive index"(Gillespie in "The Edge of Objecticity" p. 427).
Fizeau's paper is the first full experiment of an experiment measuring the speed of light in water. Known as the 'interference experiment', Fizeau's paper proved that the speed of light in water is affected by the direction of flow of the water. As Einstein himself would later acknowledge, the interference experiment with moving water is one of the main experiments confirming the special theory of relativity.
Fizeau's work employed rotating mirrors and really involved two experiments, one with water moving in the direction of light and one with water moving opposite to the direction of the light - a method "capable of rendering evident any change of velocity due to motion" (Weinstein). In 1862, he would again use a modified version of this apparatus to determine the absolute speed of light.
At the time, many believed that 'carrying medium' existed - an aether presumed to transmit light from its source to a given reflecting object and only from there to the human eye. It was assumed that light traveling through a moving medium was in essence dragged along by it; in this scenario, the speed would obviously be the sum of light's speed through the medium in addition to the speed of the medium.
"Fizeau indeed detected a dragging effect, but the magnitude of the effect that he observed was far lower than expected. His results seemingly supported the partial aether-drag hypothesis…, a situation that was disconcerting to most physicists. Over half a century passed before a satisfactory explanation of Fizeau's unexpected measurement was developed with the advent of Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity. Einstein later pointed out the importance of the experiment for special relativity" (Wikipedia).
"In 1886 Michelson and Morley repeated the experiment on a larger scale and confirmed Fizeau's results" (DSB, V, 20). Fizeau's paper is less famous, "for some reason, than the failure of Michelson and Morley to detect the aether drag, but NO LESS SIGNIFICANT. For it showed that the velocity of light increases in a medium" according to a specific formula (Gillespie, p. 427).
ALSO INCLUDED: J. M. Gaugain, "Mémoire sur l'électrité des tourmalines", pp. 5-40. Edmond Becquerel, "Recherches sur divers effets lumineux qui résultent de l'action de la lumière sur les corps", pp. 40-129. 3 papers by Pierre Béchamp. Carlo Matteucci, "Sur les propriétés électriques des corps isolants", pp. 419-423. Gustav Kirchhoff, "Du mouvement de l'électricité dans les conducteurs", pp. 238-363. Julius Plücker, "Mémoire sur la constitution des spectres électriques des vapeurs et des gaz", pp. 497-506. Item #1021
CONDITION & DETAILS: Paris: Victor Masson. Original wraps. Complete. pp. 512. 4 plates. No institutional markings. Significant professional repairs to the front wrapper. Tight. Uncut. Near fine condition.