London: Taylor and Francis, 1904. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION OF THE BRACE EXPERIMENT, "THE FIRST OPTICAL EXPERIMENT MEASURING THE RELATIVE MOTION OF EARTH AND THE LUMINIFEROUS AETHER WHICH WERE SUFFICIENTLY PRECISE TO DETECT MAGNITUDES OF SECOND ORDER TO V/C" (Wikipedia). Brace's results were negative, "which was of gret importance for the development of the Lorentz transformation and consequently of the theory of relativity" (ibid). The American physicist and specialist in optics "examined the question [of] whether the Earth's motion may cause a body to become doubly refracting," something which as first sight might be expected (PRNAAS, 1904, 6, 809). Earlier in his career, Brace developed "extremely sensitive optical techniques" to one of the critical problems of the time (Dictionary of Scientific Biography, II, 382). "Two years earlier, Lord Rayleigh had proposed that the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction, if it existed, might produce an observable double refraction in a moving transparent medium. Rayleigh made experiments in which he failed to find the predicted effect, but his work was not quite accurate enough to be conclusive. Brace pointed this out and reconducted the investigation in his own laboratory, establishing beyond a doubt the absence of double refraction caused by movement of the refracting medium through the ether" (ibid). ALSO INCLUDED IN THIS VOLUME: J. J. Thomson's 'Plum Pudding Model': "The most widely accepted theory of atomic structure up to about 1913" (Peacock, The Quantum Revolution, 34). Item #359
CONDITION & DETAILS: London: Taylor and Francis. Entire volume. Ex-libris and bearing occasional light stamp within. New end papers. No marks at the spine whatsoever. Octavo (8.5 x 5.5 inches; 213 x 138mm). [viii], 720, . 27 plates. Handsomely rebound in three quarter calf over gilt-ruled maroon paper boards. Four gilt-ruled raised bands at the spine. Gilt devices in the spine compartments. Gilt-lettered red and black spine labels. Tightly and very solidly bound. An occasional spot within, quite minor. Very good condition in every way.