FIRST EDITION EXTRACT OF ONE OF A GROUNDBREAKING SERIES OF PAPERS (OR ‘MEMOIRS’) JOHN TYNDALL WROTE AS HE INVESTIGATED THE ABSORPTION OF RADIANT ENERGY BY GASES. In these papers he demonstrates the first quantification and demonstration that atmospheric gases are infrared emitters, in other words, that they emit heat. The 1861 paper “On the Absorption and Radiation of Heat” is in a bound volume and we offer it separately. The ‘memoir’ offered here, the “Sixth Memoir on Radiation and Absorption” discusses his continued improvement of his equipment (which he invented) and his measurements.
Rumford received the 1869 Rumford metal in recognition of the importance of his work on radiant heat (Milestones in Science 191). What he discovered is considered “the first accurate account of how the atmosphere functions” (Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, 35). Prior to Tyndall, many believed that something like what we now call the Greenhouse Effect existed, but in this paper Tyndall was the first to demonstrate, quantify, and thus prove it.
Writing in praise of the Sixth Memoir, James Clerk Maxwell said: “The author has shown by numerous instances that the behaviour of bodies with respect to radiations from dark sources is different from their behaviour with respect to visible radiations, and that the former is much more connected with sikmplicity of chemical constitution than the latter” (The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, Volume 2, Feb. 22nd, 1866, 253). Item #676
CONDITION & DETAILS: London: Taylor & Francis. 4to. Extracted from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Volume 156, 1866. 11 x 8.75 inches. Complete. Clean and bright. Near fine condition in every way.