Leipzig: Barth, 1823. 1st Edition. BOUND FIRST EDITION OF FRAUNHOFER’S USE OF THE WAVE THEORY OF LIGHT”TO DERIVE, WITH SUITABLE SIMPLIFICATIONS, THE GENERAL FORMULATION OF THE GRATING EQUATION STILL IN USE TODAY” (DSB, 5, 142). Fraunhofer’s paper “predated by 40 years the next serious measurements of the spectra of the stars” (Longair, The Cosmic Century, 4).
The son of a glazier, Joseph Ritter von Fraunhofer was a German physicist whose “motivation for studying the solar spectrum was his realisation that accurate measurements of the refractive indices of glasses should be made using monochromatic light” (Longair). His work led to his discovery of the Fraunhofer lines, dark absorption lines in the Sun’s spectrum, and, as evidenced in this paper, to the construction of far superior optical glass and achromatic telescope objectives.
Following his 1821 quantitative study of diffraction phenomena, Fraunhofer revealed, in this, his next paper, “his continued investigation of diffraction gratings. He continued his study of the effect of oblique rays, developed formulations based on a wave conception, and calculated a revised set of wavelengths for the major spectral lines. Thus, his earlier observations of the dark lines in the solar spectrum enabled him to make the highly precise measurements of dispersion” (DSB, 5, 142).
His new observations of the “spectra of the planets and the brightest stars anticipated by about 40 years the next serious attempts to measure the spectra of the stars (Fraunhofer, 1823), He concluded that the stars have dark lines in their spectra similar to those seen in the Sun, but that the lines present differ from star to star” (Longair, The Cosmic Century, 6). He concluded that the stars have dark lines in their spectra similar to those seen in the Sun, but that the lines present differ from star to star” (Longair, The Cosmic Century, 6). Item #834
CONDITION & DETAILS: Leipzig: Barth. Complete full volume. 4to. (9 x 6 inches; 225 x 150mm). , 440. . Ex-libris bearing only a 'withdrawn' stamp on the rear of the title page (dark enough to show through a bit to the title) and a stamp at the foot of the contents page. No spine markings. Very handsomely rebound in three-quarter black calf over marbled paper boards; the boards have been aged a bit with a bit purposeful scuffing by the conservator (see image). Tight, solid, and very clean. The interior has a bit of toning and a spot here and there but is largely bright and very clean throughout. Very good + condition.