FIRST EDITION OF TWO IMPORTANT PAPERS BY MICHAEL FARADAY, EACH PUBLISHED AS PART OF HIS LANDMARK TWENTY-NINE PAPER “EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCHES IN ELECTRICITY” SERIES. The papers discuss magneto-crystallic force and the abnormal behavior of various crystals in a magnetic field. Faraday “hoped that when ‘properly understood’ the various phenomena examined in terms of their magnecrystallic, crystallographic and optic axes would come under ‘one law [that] will include all these phenomena’” (Kox, No Truth Except in the Details). Faraday was an English chemist and physicist often thought to be the best experimentalist in the history of science.
During Faraday’s earlier experiments on electro-magnetical theory he had “observed some phenomena that led him to a belief in the existence of another form of force, distinct from either paramagnetic or diamagnetic force, which he called the magne-crystallic force. He had been experimenting with some slender needles of bismuth, suspending them horizontally between the poles of an electro-magnet. Taking a few of these cylinders at random from a greater number, he was much perplexed to find that they did not all come to rest equatorially, as well-behaved bars of diamagnetic bismuth should do, though, if subjected to the action of a single magnetic pole, they did show this diamagnetic character by their marked repulsion. After much experimentation, he ascribed this phenomenon to the crystalline condition of the cylinder. By experimenting with carefully selected groups of crystals of bismuth, he believed he could trace the cause of the phenomenon to the action of a force which he called the magne-crystallic force” (Houston, “Electricity and Magnetism”).
Faraday believed that in studying the different action of a magnetic field upon crystalline bodies (different according to the position of their axes of crystallization) he [was observing] the ‘action’ of a ‘new’ and ‘specific force’ (Faraday). Here he describes his research in an important letter to colleague Christian Schönbein:
“I have been working also a little and have sent two papers to the Royal Society on the Crystalline Polarity of bismuth and other bodies and its relation to the Magnetic force. [My research] makes the crystal point as a magnetic needle would point, yet is the result not an effect of attraction or repulsion or polarity, for the bismuth is repelled, as a diamagnetic body, as much and no more than if it had not this set. If it be fused and then resolidified, all this power is lost, because it belonged to a regular crystallization and that has now become irregular. Antimony and Arsenic are also magnecrystallic, like bismuth — and crystalline plates of these metals taken from broken up masses point well, provided the whole of the fragment be uniformly crystallized.
Not only are diamagnetic bodies, like those mentioned, but also Magnetic bodies, Magnecrystallic. Thus a crystal of protosulphate of iron is so, having the Magnecrystallic axis perpendicular to two of the faces of the rhombic prism, in which that salt crystallizes. I can by arrangement oppose the Magnecrystallic force either to the magnetic or the diamagnetic condition of bodies — so that I can make a crystal of Sulphate of iron recced from a magnetic pole, or a crystal of bismuth approach towards it, against what we should otherwise consider their natural tendency.
As I said just now this effect is not one of attraction or of repulsion but of position only, and is as far as I can see a new effect or an exertion of force new to us” (The Letters of Faraday and Schoenbein 1836-1862, 182). Item #607
CONDITION & DETAILS: Entire Part I of the Phil Trans for 1848 [published in 1849] offered here. Disbound with text block intact. Ex-libris with occasional small “Liverpool Mechanics’ Institution’ stamps not impacting text. 4to. (11.5 by 9 inches; 288 x 225mm). , x, , 170, . 12 plates. The title page has been professionally reinforced. Clean and bright throughout.