London: Royal Society, 1866. 1st Edition. 1st ed., full volume (Parts I & II) of an important volume of Philosophical Transactions complete with 43 plates. A number of important papers are included, the most important of which is the appearance of a major paper by James Clerk Maxwell on the kinetic theory of gases, here demonstrating that the viscosity (internal friction) of a gas is a function of its temperature but not its pressure.
MAXWELL: Building on the work of Clausius and working to provide a mathematical basis for the kinetic theory of gases, Maxwell here conducts a series of “experiments that demonstrated that the viscosity of a gas is proportional to the density, mean free path and mean velocity of its molecules. Since mean free path is inversely proportional to density, an increase in pressure (which equally increases density and reduces mean free path) doesn't result in a change in viscosity. And since average velocity is proportional to absolute temperature, viscosity is solely a function of temperature” (History of Physics, The Wenner Collection). Maxwell's calculations demonstrated that the viscosity coefficient is proportional to both the density, the mean free path and the mean velocity of the atoms.
SYLVESTER: Sylvester’s paper on the motion of a rigid body contains a well-known correction of and addition to Poinsot's theory of how a system of forces acting on a rigid body could be resolved into a single force and a couple.
CAYLEY: Beginning in 1854, Cayley composed a series of 10 memoirs, this being one of them. To mathematicians at large, Cayley’s efforts “constituted a brilliant and influential account of [quantics] theory as he and others were developing it. The results Cayley was obtaining impressed mathematicians by their unexpectedness and elegance” (DSB, III, 165).
TYNDALL: 1st ed. of one of a groundbreaking series of papers (or 'memoirs') Tyndall wrote as he investigated the absorption of radiant energy by gases. In these papers he demonstrates the first quantification and demonstration that atmospheric gases are infrared emitters, in other words, that they emit heat.
ALSO: Richard Owen’s On the Fossil Mammals of Australia, Part II (Thylacoleo carnifex, Queensland) pp. 73-83, complete with 3 plates.
ALSO: Papers by Huggins, Sabine, Plucker, Hulke and Bastian, among many others. Item #1343
CONDITION & DETAILS: Complete Volume Parts I & II. Quarto. (275 x 225mm). 836pp + full index. Illustrated with 43 plates. Ex-libris bearing small patent office stamp on the rear of 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.