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London, Taylor and Francis, 1868. 8vo. Contemp. hcalf, richly gilt spine. Spine with gilt lettering. Spine slightly rubbed. A tear to leather at lower compartment, no loss. Marbled edges. In: "Proceeding of the Royal Society", Vol. XVI. X,534 pp. a. 2 plates. (Entire volume offered). Maxwell's paper: pp. 270-283. Internally cean and fine. First printing of this groundbreaking paper being the foundation of control theory - the first significant paper on feedback - the foundation of cybernetics. Norbert Wiener, in his 'Cybernetics', called Maxwell's work "the first significant paper on feed-back" (p.19). In coining the term "cybernetics" to describe the field of control and communication/information theory, Wiener was paying homage to Maxwell's paper as the English word "governor" - the familiar term for the first popular feedback device - derives from the Latin corruption of the Greek "kubernetes". The word means "steersman"; the steering engines of a ship are among the earliest and best developed forms of feedback mechanism. The Concept of feedback, defined by Wiener as "a method of controlling a system by reinserting into it the results of its past performance" (Wiener 1950, 61) was known as far back as the third century B.C., but did not take off until the later part of the eighteenth century, when James Watt's invention of the centrifugal governor (1788) sparked an immediate rise in the creation of other feedback control devices. "During the 19th century countless feedback devices were invented for a multitude of purposes . The dynamic problems of speed regulation provided the motive for the first attempts at formulating a mathematical theory of automatic control" (Mayr 1970, 131). Maxwell's was one of the earliest attempts, following the device described in George Biddell Airy's paper "The regulator of the clock-work for effecting uniform movement of equatorials" (1840-51). Origins of Cyberspace 337. Bookseller Inventory # 50069

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Bibliographic Details

Title: On Governors.

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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