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Jeremy Norman's historyofscience

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Memoirs concerning Herculaneum, the Subterranean City, Late discovered at the Foot of Mount Vesuvius

Arthenay, Guillaume Marie de [Arthenay, Guillaume Marie de.] Fordyce, William (translator and editor). Memoirs concerning Herculaneum, the subterranean city, lately discovered at the foot of Mount Vesuvius . . . 8vo. 4, 68pp. London: Printed for D. Wilson, 1750. 196 x 118 mm. Quarter morocco, marbled boards in period style. First and last leaves a little soiled, minor foxing and toning, but very good. First Edition in English of d'Arthenay's Mémoire sur la ville souterraine découverte au pied du Mont Vésuve (1748), and one of the first publications in English on Herculaneum. Fordyce, a Scotsman about whom little else is known (he is sometimes confused with another William Fordyce, a Scottish physician), was inspired to make his translation of d'Arthenay's work after visiting Herculaneum in 1749 and "examining the Curiosities they had found there." Fordyce's Memoir, which also includes Xiphilinus's and Pliny's accounts of Vesuvius's eruption, appears to be just the second work in English on Herculaneum, preceded only by Allan Ramsay's translations of letters from the Italian painter Camillo Paderni published in the Philosophical Transactions in 1740. Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, vol. 2: Enlightenment and Expansion (2011). Gordon, "Subverting the secret of Herculaneum: Archaeological espionage in the Kingdom of Naples," in Coates and Seydl, eds., Antiquity Recovered: The Legacy of Pompeii and Herculaneum (2007), pp. 37-57. .
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  • $1,500
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Determination du pouvoir refringement et dispersif de differentes especes de verre. 2 papers

Fraunhofer, Joseph Translated by Fraunhofer Fraunhofer, Joseph(1787-1826). (1) Determination du pouvoir refringent et dispersif de differerentes especes de verre, recherches destinees au perfectionnement des lunettes achromiatiques. In Astronomische Abhandlungen 2 (1823): 13-45. (2) Nouvelle modification de la lumiere, par l'influence reiproque et la diffraction des rayons lumineux, avec l'examen des lois de cette modification. In ibid.: 46-112. Whole number, 4to. [6], 112pp. 251 x 198 mm. (uncut). Original printed wrappers, worn at spine, 19th century library label on front wrapper. Small library stamp on title. Faint occasional foxing, edges a bit frayed, but very good. First Editions in French of two of Fraunhofer's key papers on spectroscopy: "Bestimmung des Brechungs- und Farbenzerstreuungs VermËgens verschiedener Glasarten, in Bezug auf die Vervollkommung achromatischer Fernrohre" (1817; see Printing and the Mind of Man 278a and Dibner, Heralds of Science, 153) and "Neue Modifikation des Lichtes durch gegenseitige Einwirkung und Beugung der Strahlen, und Gesetze derselben" (1821). Fraunhofer prepared his own French translations of these papers, the first of which records the first examination and mapping of the absorption lines of the solar spectrum, and the second of which represents the first quantitative study of diffraction phenomena. In 1802 William Hyde Wollaston reported observing a few dark lines crossing the solar spectrum, but regarded them simply as natural dividing lines between the colors. It was Joseph von Fraunhofer, a master glassmaker and theoretical optician, who in his 1817 paper first examined and mapped the absorption lines of the solar spectrum, plotting 576 lines of varying intensity and noting the constancy of their relative position regardless of the source of the sunlight (sun, moon, planets). He did the same with the light from various bright stars and discovered that their spectra showed different line arrangements, leading him to conclude that the lines originated in the very nature of the light source. In his 1821 paper, published shortly after Fresnel's studies of interference phenomena had become generally known, Fraunhofer "discussed his examination of the spectra resulting from light diffracted through a single narrow slit and quantitatively related the wideth of the slit to the angle of dispersion of the different orders of spectra. Extending his observations to diffraction resulting from a large number of slits, he constructed a grating with 260 parallel wires. . . . The presence of the solar dark lines enabled him to note that the dispersion of the spectra was greater with his grating than with his prism. Hence, he examined the relationship between dispersion and the separation of wires in the grating. Utilizing the dark lines as bench marks in the spectrum for his dispersion determinations, he concluded that the dispersion was inversely related to the distance between successive slits in the grating. From the same study Fraunhofer was able to determine the wavelengths of specific colors of light" (DSB). This paper marks the first quantitative study of diffraction phenomena. Fraunhofer used his discoveries, as can be seen from the title of his first paper, to test the refractive index of glass in his quest to perfect the achromatic telescope. However, his findings also stimulated great interest among natural scientists, whose speculations as to the cause of spectral lines culminated in Kirchhoff and Bunsen's classic explanation of absorption and emission spectra (1859), in new and highly accurate methods of chemical analysis, and in the establishment of astrophysics as a distinct science. Also included in this number of the Astronomische Abhandlungen is the first edition of Friedrich von Bessel's "Beitrag zur Kometentheorie" (an improvement on Olbers' method of calculating the orbits of comets) and Johann Soldner's "Methode beobachtete Stern-Positionen auf eine mittlere zu reduciren." The latter astronomer is noted for having published the first written account of the deflection of light by gravity (1804); see Wambsganss, "Gravitational lensing in astronomy," (web reference) DSB. .
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Journal of. 2 vols. Presentation inscription to Segre in Vol. 2, with 10 offprints, 3 with inscriptions to Segre

Seaborg, Glenn From the Library of Nobel Prize Winner Emilio Segre Seaborg, Glenn (1912-99). (1). Journal of Glenn T. Seaborg. August 11, 1934 - June 30, 1939 [July 1, 1939 - April 17, 1942]. 2 vols. N.p., October 1982. Mimeographed typescript. vii [1], 502; [4] 503-925pp. Text illustrations. Original printed wrappers. Seaborg's presentation inscription to Segre on title of second vol.: "To Emilio with fond memories of 50 years of friendship and collaboration, Glenn." Page of Segre's notes laid into second vol. Address labels of Segre's widow in each vol. Offered with (2). Collection of 10 offprints and mimeographed documents, as listed below. 8vo & 4to. V.p., 1938-76. Original wrappers or without wrappers as issued; see below for detailed condition statements. From the library of Nobel Laureate Emilio Segre(1905-89); Seaborg's presentation inscriptions to Segre on nos. 7, 9 and 11. First / First Separate Editions. Seaborg shared the 1951 Nobel Prize in chemistry with E. M. Macmillan for their work on the synthetic transuranium elements, which are created by bombarding uranium and other heavy elements with atomic particles. The first such element that Seaborg identified was plutonium (no. 94), which he and his associates J. W. Kennedy and A. C. Wahl found in December 1940; a few months later, with the assistance of Emilio Segre, Seaborg's team isolated the isotope 239Pu and found it to be a potential source of nuclear energy (see no. 10). This discovery was kept secret due to wartime conditions; Seaborg later stated that "the announcement to the world of the existence of plutonium was in the form of the nuclear bomb dropped over Nagasaki" (quoted in James, p. 346). Seaborg spent most of his scientific career at the University of California, Berkeley, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1937 and joined the chemistry faculty the same year. In 1936, while still a graduate student, he became the first chemist to have an ongoing connection with E.O. Lawrence's Radiation Laboratory-home of the cyclotron, the world's first particle accelerator. It was at this time that Seaborg began working with John J. Livingood (see nos. 1, 3 & 5); "their ongoing collaboration . . . produced the largest quantity of information about nuclear reactions obtained by any group in the Laboratory" (Heilbron & Seidel, Lawrence and his Laboratory, p. 355). With Livingood, and later with Segre, J. W. Kennedy and others, Seaborg helped to pioneer the study of isomers, forms of the same unstable nucleus differing in internal energy (nos. 3, 5 & 6). With Livingood and Kennedy, Seaborg undertook a lengthy study of the isomers of activated tellurium (nos. 3 & 5), which was found to be a source of biologically useful radioactive iodine. With Segre, who joined the Rad. Lab. in 1938, Seaborg found the isomers of element 43 (no. 4); this element, later named technetium, had been discovered by Segre in 1936. This early work is discussed in detail in our two volumes of Seaborg's journal (no. 11), which describe his scientific work from August 1934 to April 1942. The years 1940 to 1942 are also covered in no. 10, which focuses primarily on Seaborg's work on plutonium and the isotope U233. During World War II Seaborg served as a section head in the Manhattan Project, supervising the production of plutonium for the atomic bomb. In 1944 he resumed his search for new transuranic elements, identifying americium (no. 95) and curium (no. 96). After the war he returned to Berkeley, where between 1949 and 1958 he and his research teams identified berkelium (no. 97), californium (no. 98), einsteinium (no. 99), fermium (no. 100), mendelevium (no. 101), and nobelium (no. 102)-this brought Seaborg's total of new elements up to nine, more than found by anyone else in history. In 1961, after serving for three years as chancellor of UC Berkeley, Seaborg was appointed chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, where he served until 1971. In 1974 he isolated seaborgium (no. 106), which was named for him. Seaborg was a prolific author, producing 26 books and over 550 papers during his long career. We are offering here a selection of these, ranging from the 1930s to the 1980s. All are from the library of Seaborg's sometime collaborator Emilio Segre, who received half of the 1959 Nobel Prize for physics for his discovery of the antiproton. Both Seaborg and Segre were on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley and both did much of their research at the university's Radiation Laboratory. James, Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, pp. 344-49. "Publications by Glenn T. Seaborg," (web reference) 1. (with J. J. Livingood). Artificial radioactivity as a test for minute traces of elements. Offprint from J. Am. Chem. Soc. 60 (August 1938). 1784-1786pp. Original printed wrappers. 2.(with D. C. Grahame). The distribution of minute amounts of material between liquid phases. Offprint from J. Am. Chem. Soc. 60 (October 1938). 2524-2528pp. Original printed wrappers. 3. (with J. J. Livingood & J. W. Kennedy). Radioactive tellurium: Further production and separation of isomers. Offprint from Phys. Rev. 55 (April 15, 1939). 1 page (794), in original printed wrappers. 4/ (with E. Segre). Nuclear isomerism in element 43. Offprint from Phys. Rev. 55 (May 1, 1939). 808-814pp. Without wrappers as issued. 5. (with J. J. Livingood & J. W. Kennedy). Radioactive isotopes of tellurium. Offprint from Phys. Rev. 57 (March 1, 1940). 363-370pp. Diagrams. Without wrappers as issued. 6. (with G. Friedlaender & J. W. Kennedy). Mechanism of nuclear isomer separation process. Offprint from J. Am. Chem. Soc. 62 (1940). 1309-1310pp. Original printed wrappers. 7. Artificial radioactivity. Offprint from Chem. Reviews 27 (August 1940). 199-285pp. Original printed wrappers, worn. Seaborg's pres. insc. on front wrapper: "Compliments of Glenn T. Seaborg." Segres signature on front wrapper. 8. (with Earl K. Hyde). The transuranium elements. Preprint of a contribution to Vol 39, "Handbuch der Physik." M
  • $2,750
  • $2,750
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Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; with Travels in Armenia, Kurdistan and the Desert: Being the Result of a Second Expedition undertaken for the Trustees of the British Museum

Layard, Austin H. Layard, Austen Henry (1817-94). Discoveries in the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; with travels in Armenia, Kurdistan and the desert; being the result of a second expedition undertaken for the Trustees of the British Museum. xxiii, 686, [2, adverts.]pp. 16 plates, including frontispiece and folding maps; text illustrations. London: John Murray, 1853. 222 x 143 mm. Original publisher's cloth binding by Remnant & Edmonds of blind-stamped brown ribbed cloth, blocked to a Babylonian motif, portraying a human-headed bull in profile, his wings spread round the upper covers; sample of cuneiform script in a frame beneath; binders' ticket inside back cover. Light wear, tiny splits at head and foot of spine. Fore-edges of one or two folding plates frayed, scattered foxing but very good. First Edition of Layard's account of his second archeological expedition Middle East, which has been called one of the best-written books of travel in the English language. Due to the interest aroused by Layard's first Mesopotamian expedition (1845-47), the British Museum sponsored Layard on a second trip to the region in 1849, where he investigated the ruins of Babylon and the mounds of southern Mesopotamia. During this second expedition, while excavating the Kuyunjik mound in what is now northern Iraq, Layard discovered the lost palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib and the Royal Library of Ashurbanipal, a collection of over 30,000 clay tablets dating from the seventh century BCE that included the famous Epic of Gilgamesh. Layard's archeological findsâ"many of which he sent to the British Museumâ"conclusively proved that the Kuyunjik mound was part of the ancient city of Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian Empire. From the standpoint of book history, Layard's book is notable for its elaborate stamped binding by Remnant & Edmonds, featuring a Babylonian motif that extends across both covers and a sample of cuneiform script. It is one of the most remarkable publisher's cloth bindings produced in the nineteenth century. .
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  • $1,000
book (2)
book (2)

The Antiquities of Herculaneum. Translated form the Italian by Thomas Martyn and John Lettice

[Bayardi, Ottavio Antonio (1694-1764).] The antiquities of Herculaneum; translated from the Italian, by Thomas Martyn [1735-1825] and John Lettice [1737-1832] . . . xi, lxxiii, 236, [2]pp. Engraved frontispiece and 50 plates (2 double-page). London: S. Leacroft, 1773. 313 x 240 mm. Diced calf gilt, rebacked, light edgewear. Minor foxing, toning and offsetting, but very good. 18th-century gift inscription on the front flyleaf. First Edition in English. Bayardi, a Catholic priest, was brought from Rome to Naples by the Neapolitan prime minister in 1746 to publish the Herculaneum antiquities in the Neapolitan royal collections. After issuing several volumes on his own, Bayardi was appointed in 1755 to the newly formed Reale Accademia Ercolanese di Archeologia (Royal Herculaneum Academy of Archeology), which took over the job of publishing the finds from Herculaneum. Bayardi remained with the Accademia for a year, editing the first volume of the Accademia's Delle antichità di Ercolano (1757), which describes and illustrates some of the paintings found at Herculaneum. He returned to Rome shortly afterwards. The original Italian edition of Delle antichità, published in eight volumes between 1757 and 1792, was intended to be the definitive publication of the Herculaneum antiquities; to discourage any competing publications, the Neapolitan government limited its distribution and maintained strict control over its content. The English translators of Volume I mention this restrictive policy in their preface, noting that the Court of the Two Sicilies tried to "stifle" their work, and when that failed, "to order, that the book [i.e., the original 1757 edition of Vol. I] which was not to be commonly purchased before, for fear it might become of small value if it lost its rarity, should be sold at a price greatly below the prime cost, in order, it may be presumed, to supersede the translation, and distress the translators by underselling them" (p. v). Mattusch, "Introduction," in Winckelmann, Letter and Report on the Discoveries at Herculaneum, pp. 1-61. .