London: The Royal Society, 1858. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION EXTRACT OF A PAPER BY GEORGE BIDDELL AIRY (1801-1892). The original standards of length and weight were destroyed in the great fire at the Houses of Parliament in 1834. Airy undertook the exposition and experimentation to establish new national standards, presented here in this paper. Three engraved plates with minor foxing. The text is bright and clean. Very good.
Airy was an English mathematician and astronomer as well as Lucasian professor at Cambridge and Astronomer Royal. Among “his many achievements include work on planetary orbits, measuring the mean density of the Earth, a method of solution of two-dimensional problems in solid mechanics and, in his role as Astronomer Royal, establishing Greenwich as the location of the prime meridian” (Wikipedia). Airy’s discovery of a new inequality in the motions of Venus and the earth is in some respects his most remarkable achievement. Item #1180