1883. 1st Edition. Second, deluxe edition of “Ampère’s greatest work,” Theorie Mathematique… or Memoir on the Mathematical Theory of Electrodynamic Phenomena, Uniquely Deduced from Experience (DSB). Widely referred to as “the Principia of Electrodynamics,” with this work Ampère founded the science of electrodynamics, now known as electromagnetism.
“Volta’s invention of the pile c. 1800 made it possible to experiment with steady electric currents and led to Oersted’s discovery, in 1820” of an action of electricity on magnets that suggested “the presence of a magnetic force that is perpendicular both to the direction of the wire and to the shortest line from the wire to the magnet” – to the orientation one would expect. (Torretti, The Philosophy of Physics, 82).
“Ampère, after an extraordinary bout of experimentation and mathematical theorizing, succeeded in explaining electromagnetic interaction by central forces acting at a distance… Ampère accounts for all electrodynamic and electromagnetic phenomena known to him by a force acting at a distance between infinitesimal elements of electric current, along the line joining them. According to Ampère’s Law, any two such elements interact with a force directed along the line joining them and proportional to the product of their current intensities multiplied by a function of their directions and divided by their distance squared” (ibid).
“Ampère also provided a physical understanding of the electromagnetic relationship, theorizing the existence of an “electrodynamic molecule” (the forerunner of the idea of the electron) that served as the component element of both electricity and magnetism. Using this physical explanation of electromagnetic motion, Ampère developed a physical account of electromagnetic phenomena that was both empirically demonstrable and mathematically predictive” (Wikipedia). In 1827 Ampère published the first edition of this volume and has been known since as this field’s founding father. “A religious man, Ampère believed that he had proven the existence of the soul and of God” (Pickover, The Physics Book, 172). Item #461
CONDITION & DETAILS: Paris: A. Hermann. Lancaster: American Institute of Physics. 4to (11 x 7.5 inches). , 164 pages, [2 large 20 inch fold-out plates], 2. Complete deluxe edition. Beautifully rebound in half-calf over marbled paper boards, gilt-ruled at the edge of the boards and at the spine. Black morocco spine label, gilt-lettered. New endpapers. Very slight toning at the edges of the first few pages; otherwise bright and very clean throughout. Very good condition.