On the Prismatic Decomposition of Electrical Light, Report of the 5th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at Dublin in 1835 [Including Notices of Communications to the British Association for the Advancement of Science; at Dublin in August 1835] pp. 11-12, 1836

1836. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION OF WHEATSTONES INTRODUCTION OF “OPTICAL EMISSION SPECTROMETRY” [the modern term] as an alternative to flame spectroscopy for the identification of the composition of metals. In 1835 and in this paper “Charles Wheatstone reported that different metals could be distinguished by bright lines in the emission spectra of their sparks, thereby introducing an alternative to flame spectroscopy” (History of Spectroscopy and Emission Spectrum).

In the mid-18th and early-19th centuries, Melvill, Herschel, and Talbot all experimented with the colors imparted to flames by salts and other materials. The studies of spark-and-arc-excited spectra by Wheatstone (offered here) and Foucault in 1848, however, “were the early beginnings of atomic emission and absorption” (Ihnat, Atomic Absorption, 129). In essence, their work on emission spectrometry as it is now understood involved the application of “electrical energy in the form of spark generated between an electrode and a metal sample” (Principle of Optical Emission Spectrometry). Within this process, vaporized atoms were brought to a high energy state now known as discharge plasma. “These excited atoms and ions in the discharge plasma create[d] a unique emission spectrum specific to each element..." (ibid).

“Arc and spark emission spectrometry was the method of choice for simultaneous multielement determinations during the three decades (1930–1960) in many fields of analysis notably in metallurgy and geology. Flame emission spectrometry gained rapidly in popularity following the Introduction of commercial instruments in 1937–1945” (ibid). Item #1539

CONDITION & DETAILS: Complete. 4to. 9.25 X 6 inches. This work is divided into two parts, the first is 253pp. in length and is the” Report of the 5th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at Dublin in 1835”. The second part is 132pp. in length and is titled “Including Notices of Communications to the British Association for the Advancement of Science; at Dublin in August 1835.” It is this section that includes the Wheatstone paper. Both sections are fully indexed. The binding is likely original, early paper over boards; some rubbing and staining but the binding. Untrimmed pages with a little browning and some spotting on a few pages, but otherwise clean internally.

Price: $475.00

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