London: Royal Society, 1895. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION OF SIR WILLIAM RAMSAY’S DISCOVERY OF HELIUM AS WELL AS LOCKYER’S VERIFICATION OF RAMSAY’S DISCOVERY.
In March of 1895, “Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay isolated helium on Earth by treating the mineral cleveite (a variety of uraninite with at least 10% rare earth elements) with mineral acids. Ramsay was looking for argon but, after separating nitrogen and oxygen from the gas liberated by sulfuric acid, he noticed a bright yellow line that matched the D3 line observed in the spectrum of the Sun” (Mulijadi, Helium, 3). Ramsay’s two papers outlining his discovery of helium appear in this volume.
At the time of Ramsay’s discovery, however, helium was thought to be an element that might exist on the sun although it was not thought to be present on Earth. For this reason, spectroscopists at the time doubted Ramsay’s results concerning helium.
In order to address this, Ramsay sent samples of his discovery to J. Norman Lockyer. These samples were identified as helium by Lockyer. This volume contains all five parts of Lockyer’s work affirming Ramsay’s discovery.
ALSO INCLUDED: J. J. Thomson’s “On the Electrolysis of Gases” (pp. 244-257) a paper of significance in his study of the connection between electrification and chemical action. Item #577
CONDITION & DETAILS: London: The Royal Society. Complete volume. 8vo. 8.5 by 5.5 inches (213 x 138mm). , vii, , 472, [lxv], 3. Ex-libris with armorial bookplate on the front pastedown, a blind stamp on the title page; call numbers are written in white on the spine. In-text tables and illustrations throughout. Handsomely bound in half blue cloth over aged marbled paper boards with minor rubbing at the edge tips of the spine and boards; gilt-lettered at the spine. Tightly and very solidly bound. Five gilt-ruled raised bands at the spine; green morocco spine label. Bright and clean throughout. Very good to near fine condition.