London: Royal Society, 1823. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION OF DAVY’S DEMONSTRATION OF THE ROTATION OF MERCURY (shortly after Faraday demonstrated electromagnetic rotation. ALSO CHARLE’S BELL’S TWO PART DISCOVERY OF BELL’S PHENOMENON. ALSO two papers by Michael Faraday demonstrating the liquification of many gases most importantly chlorine and ammonia which provided the basis of modern refrigeration.
DAVY: Davy’s experiments on electromagnetism were based on Oersted's discovery of the relationship between electricity and magnetism in 1820, as well as Wollaston and Faraday’s studies. In this paper, Davy experiments on how mercury responds to the electrical field produced by a battery.
Following Faraday’s experiments on electromagnetic rotation [Davy believed] some new light might be thrown upon the subject. He first experiment with the effect of the action of a magnet upon mercury connected in the electric circuit to see if he the mercury could be made to revolve by electromagnetism (AoP 5, 1823, 303). He believed that as electricity passed through the mercury, it created motions that were independent of the magnet and that the rotations were the result of a combination of forces. Furthermore, he believed that the motions would, given the positioning of the wires, mainly occur at the lower surface of the mercury. For this reason, he inverted the form of the experiment and brought “the copper wires through two holes in the bottom of a glass basin, with so much mercury in it as to stand one tenth of an inch above the polished ends of the wires.” (ibid). He was able to demonstrate that mercury rose into a small cone above each of the wires; as to the wires, waves flowed from them in all directions and the only area that appeared at rest was between the wires.
“These cones were diminished by the approximation of the pole of a magnet, which produced rotation, and on bringing it near enough, a depression of the mercury above the pole” (ibid 190). Davy believed the phenomenon appeared absolutely independent of any elevation in the temperature of the mercury and he did not believe the reaction the product of electric repulsion [and] concluded that the reaction “must be referred to forces producing motions in right lines, or undulations from the surfaces of the wires as a centre; and [he argued] strongly opposed to the idea of the electro-magnetic results, being produced by the motion of a single imponderable fluid” (ibid).
BELL: In these papers Charles Bell reported the oculogyric phenomenon which accompanies forceful closure of the eyelids now known as Bell’s phenomenon, an ocular reflex that refers to the movement of the eyeballs in an upward direction when the eyelids are forcefully closed. Bell’s Phenomenon is important in evaluating facial palsy.
FARADAY: In 1802 John Dalton had stated his belief that all gases could be liquefied by the use of low temperatures and/or high pressures. In these two papers, Faraday provided evidence for Dalton’s belief when he used high pressures to produce the first ever liquid samples of chlorine and ammonia. He was able to liquify the gas chlorine for the first time and then also showed that ammonia could be liquefied under pressure. The importance of Faraday’s discovery was that he had demonstrated that mechanical pumps could transform a gas at room temperature into a liquid. The liquid could then be evaporated, cooling its surroundings and the resulting gas could be collected and compressed by a pump into a liquid again, then the whole cycle could be repeated. This is the basis of how all refrigerators work. Item #1340
CONDITION & DETAILS: Complete Volume Parts I & II. Quarto. (275 x 225mm). 548pp + full index. Illustrated with 25 plates. Ex-libris bearing two small “Royal College of Surgeons” stamps on the title page. Handsomely rebound in aged calf. 5 raised bands at the spine, each gilt-ruled with gilt-tooled fleur de lis. Red and black, gilt-lettered spine labels. Tightly bound. Bright and very clean. Fine condition.