21 Offprints on physics, acoustics, microscopy, etc., from the Carl Ludwig collection

Helmholtz, Hermann von

Publication Date: 1893
Soft cover
From Jeremy Norman's historyofscience (Novato, CA, U.S.A.)

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Helmholtz, Hermann (1821-94). Collection of 21 offprints, as listed below. Various sizes (the largest measuring 303 x 212 mm.). V.p., 1852-93. Most in original printed wrappers; see below for more detailed condition statements. Some browning, chipping and tears due to poor quality paper. Nearly all the offprints bear the stamp of the Ludwig collection, formed by physiologist Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig (1816-95; G-M 682, 770, 809-10, 819, 998, 1232); two of the offprints bear Helmholtz's presentation inscriptions to Ludwig. The offprints also bear the stamp of Lewis Hill Weed (1886-1952; G-M 1439). First Separate Editions. Helmholtz was "the last scholar whose work, in the tradition of Leibniz, embraced all the sciences, as well as philosophy and the fine arts" (DSB). During his long career Helmholtz made fundamental contributions to physiological optics and acoustics, hydrodynamics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics and the philosophy of science. The present collection contains his important first paper on color theory (no. 1), as well as a few papers on acoustics (nos. 4, 11), and several papers on electrodynamics (nos. 5, 9, 10, 12-14, 19-21). Helmholtz entered the field of color theory in 1852 with his "Ueber Hrn. D. Brewster's neue Analyse des Sonnenlichts," a refutation of David Brewster's triple-spectrum theory of light proposed in 1831. Brewster's theory, which claimed that sunlight consisted of three primary colors (red, blue and yellow) plus white, had found wide acceptance upon its publication, but came under increasing criticism over the next two decades. Helmholtz's paper, which carefully re-examined Brewster's experimental evidence, put an end to the triple-spectrum concept-Helmholtz was able to reproduce Brewster's experimental results, but demonstrated conclusively that they were due to scattered white light (in both the experimental apparatus and the eye) and to physiological optical influences. Helmholtz's work in electrodynamics, the main focus of his research after 1870, led to his rejection of the notion of action at a distance (advocated by Ampere, Neumann, Weber and others), and to his acceptance of James Clerk Maxwell's field theory in advance of most other Continental physicists. "During the last third of the nineteenth century Hermann von Helmholtz led an entire generation of German-speaking physicists to recognize the fecundity and challenge of James Clerk Maxwell's new electrodynamics. . . . [He] played an instrumental role in the formation of classical electrodynamics: through his critical analysis of the work of others, through creative variations on existing theories, and through his inspiring guidance of his students, he became a major figure in shaping classical, Maxwellian electrodynamics as it emerged during the last third of the nineteenth century" (Kaiser, "Helmholtz's role in the formation of classical electrodynamics," in Cahan, ed., Hermann von Helmholtz and the Foundations of Nineteenth Century Science, pp. 374-402; quotation taken from pp. 374-75). These offprints come from the library of Helmholtz's friend, the physiologist Carl Ludwig, whose invention of the kymograph in 1847 (G-M 770) influenced the course of Helmholtz's early physiological investigations of muscle contraction, and whose Lehrbuch der Physiologie des Menschen (1852) helped pave the way for Helmholtz's work on the problem of eye movements. The offprints were later acquired by Lewis Hill Weed, who mapped out the pathways of the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid. 1. Ueber Hrn. D. Brewster's neue Analyse des Sonnenlichts. Offprint from Ann. Phys. Chem. 86 (1852). 501-523pp. Orig. wrappers, author's pres. insc. inside front wrapper: "Seinem Ludwig, der Verfasser." Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 2. Erwiederung auf die Bemerkungen von Hrn. Clausius. Offprint from Ann. Phys. Chem. 91 (n.d.). 241-266pp. Orig. wrappers, author's pres. insc. inside front wrapper: "Seinem Ludwig, der Verfasser." Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 3. Ueber die Empfindlichkeit der menschlichen Netzhaut fur die brechbarsten Strahlen des Sonnenlichts and Ueber die Zusammensetzung von Spectralfarben. Offprints from Ann. d. Phys. u. Chem. 94 (1854?). 205-211; 1-28pp. Plate. Offprints bound together in orig. wrappers, plate and back wrapper detached. Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 4. (Helmholtz with F. C. Donders) Ueber die Vocale. Offprint from Arch. Holl. Beitrage z. Natur- u. Heilkunde (1857). 1 sheet (2pp.), unbound. Split in 2 along horizontal fold. Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 5. Vergleich des Ampere'schen und Neumann'schen Gesetzes fur die elektrodynamischen Krafte. Offprint from Monatsber. K. Akad. Wiss. Berlin (1873). 91-104pp. Orig. wrappers. Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 6. Vortrag ber die Granzen der Leistungsfahigkeit der Mikroskope. Offprint from Monatschr. K. Akad. Wiss. Berlin (1873). Single sheet (2pp.), browned, chipped. Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 7. Uber ein Theorem, geometrisch Ohnliche Bewegungen flussiger Korper betreffend, nebst Anwendung auf das Problem, Luftballons zu lenken. Offprint from Monatsbericht d. K. Akad. Wiss. Berlin (1873). [2], 502-514pp. Orig. wrappers. Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 8. Vorrede. . . . Extract from Thomson, William and Tait, P. G., Handbuch der theoretischen Physik, tr. Helmholtz & G. Wertheim, Vol. 1, part 2 (Braunschweig: Vieweg, 1874), pp. i-xiv, [2]. Unbound. Some soiling & wear. Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 9. Versuche ber die im ungeschlossenene Kreis durch Bewegung inducierten elektromotorischen Krafte. Offprint from Monatsber. K. Akad. Wiss. Berlin (1875). 400-418pp. Orig. wrappers, front wrapper detached. Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 10. Ueber galvanische Strome, verersacht durch Concentrationsunterschiede; Folgerung aus der mechanischen Warmetheorie. Offprint from Ann. Phys. Chem. (1877). 201-216pp. Orig. printed wrappers. Stamps of Ludwig and Weed libraries. 11. Telephon und Klangfar. Bookseller Inventory # 38347

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Title: 21 Offprints on physics, acoustics, ...

Publication Date: 1893

Binding: Soft cover

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