London: Taylor and Francis. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION, FULL VOLUME 154 OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS, INCLUSIVE OF SIX IMPORTANT PAPERS, HERSCHEL’S EXTRAORDINARY CATALOG OF NEBULÆ & STARS; THREE ASTRONOMY PAPERS BY WILLIAM HUGGINS, TYNDALL’S FOURTH PAPER ON GLOBAL WARMING & GEORGE BOOLE’S FINAL PAPER.
First edition of SIR JOHN HERSCHEL’S enormous catalog, a complete and descriptive compilation of the 5,079 nebulæ and clusters known to date, the majority of which had been discovered by either his father, Sir William Herschel, or himself. An extraordinary achievement, it remains celebrated to this day.
First edition of three important papers in the history of astronomy, all by WILLIAM HUGGINS, the founder of stellar astrophysics. Employing only items he had set up in his own observatory -- chemicals and batteries and cameras -- Huggins, first visually and then photographically, explored the spectra of stars, nebulae, and comets. In the first paper here, “On the Spectra of some of the Chemical Elements”, Huggins proved stars to be composed of known elements occurring on the Earth and Sun – something we no take as a given. In the second and third papers present in this volume, Huggins was the first to show that some nebulae, including the great nebula in Orion, have pure emission spectra and thus must be truly gaseous, while others, such as that in Andromeda, yield spectra characteristic of stars – a groundbreaking discovery the Dictionary of Scientific Biography deemed “sensational” (DSB, 541).
First edition of a paper by JOHN TYNDALL, his fourth in a series of papers (or ‘memoirs’) written as he investigated the absorption of radiant energy by gases and, by the way, proved that global warming exists. In these papers he demonstrates the first quantification and demonstration that atmospheric gases are infrared emitters, in other words, that they emit heat. The ‘memoir’ offered here, “On the Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gaseous and Liquid Matter,” proves “that gaseous films not more than one hundredth part of an inch in thickness exhibited a measureable absorption, examing the sifting powers of gases and radiant heat, and extending his researches on dynamic radiation” (Vincent, The Year-book of Facts in Science and Art, 5). Tyndall 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.
First edition of GEORGE BOOLE’S final paper, this on differential equations and employing Cayley’s method with the equation solved by a definite integral. Boole died later in 1864. Item #841
CONDITION & DETAILS: In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. For the Year MDCCCLXIV , London: Printed by Taylor and Francis, Volume 154, 1865. Quarto (11.5 x 9.25; 288 x 232mm). , iv, , 5, , 760 pages, , 2. In-text illustrations throughout as well as 25 plates, many large fold out. Genuinely tiny Athenæum Liverpool stamp (small enough that one has to look to find it) on title page, verso, some plates and text; scans upon request. volume, complete. Handsomely rebound in aged calf. 5 raised bands at the spine, each gilt-ruled; gilt-tooled fleur de lis at the spine. Red and black, gilt-lettered morocco spine labels. Tightly and solidly bound. New endpapers. Bright and very clean, including the plates. By any measure, near fine condition.