Matthew Moncrieff Pattison Muir, FRSE, FCS, (1848–1931). "Are the Elements Elementary?" A two- part paper in two issues of Nature: (a) October 3, 1878, pp 592-593; and (b) OCtober 10, 1878, pp 625-627. Both are in their original paper wrappers with fine advertisements. The pair: $150
Curie, Marie (Sklodowska). "Rayons émis par les composés de l'uranium et de thorium. Presentée par M. Lippmann. Séance du Mardi 12 Avril 1898". Paris, Gauthier-Villars, 1898. In: Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de L'Academie des Sciences, volume 126, No 15. We offer the weekly issue, comprising pp. 1059-1110, with Curie's paper appearing on pp. 1101-1103. $950
Lord Rayleigh and William Ramsay. Argon, a New Constituent of the Atmosphere. The Hodgkins Fund. City of Washington, Smithsonian Institution. 1896. Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge. 1033. 4to., , 43 pp., 5 text figures. Brilliant copy in the original green cloth with blind stamping and gilt stamps. Also: this copy comes with the rare, original, dust jacket. (There are few scientific works published in the 19th century issued with dust jackets.) Condition: book, very fine; dust jacket has some dusting, some tears and chips around edges, but is fresh, and Very Good. $1250
First edition, announcing the discovery of the first inert gas, the work (largely) leading to the Nobel Prize in physics for Rayleigh and the Nobel for chemistry for Ramsay in 1904.
"In 1904, Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919) and his collaborator Sir William Ramsay (1852–1916) were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry, respectively, primarily for their role in the discovery of argon, an inert gas in the atmosphere. The averse reaction to this discovery by Mendeleev (1834–1907) might have been the main reason for his not being awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1906."
"The discovery of argon resulted from a careful unraveling of an empirical discrepancy, initially detected by Rayleigh when measuring the density of nitrogen gas produced by two different procedures. After a long trial‐and‐error process based on a carefully designed sequence of experiments and guided by an informal (by today’s standards) analysis of the resulting data Rayleigh and Ramsay reached the conclusion that the atmospheric air contains argon, a hitherto unknown element."
"Rayleigh and Ramsey had noted that nitrogen obtained from the air had a density greater than that of nitrogen liberated from its compounds by about one-half percent. This led to the isolation of the first of the inert gases which they called argon. In the following year Ramsay found another, helium, in the mineral clevite, altho this had been noted in the sun’s spectrum by Lockyar in 1868. In four years, 1894-8, five new gases, including neon, krypton and xenon had been discovered. These form a distinct group in the periodic table; all have zero valency.” [Dibner]. Dibner, Heralds of Science 50.
Linus Pauling. "Rotational Motion of Molecules in Crystals." In: The Physical Review, volume 36, number 3, 1 August 1930. Pauling's article occupied pp 430-434 in the issue of pp 383-607. In the original green wrappers. $350
2) Mémoires de Chimie et de Physique, (2)-828 pp, 8 plates.
3) Memoires et Rapports sur Divers Sujets de Chimie et de Physique Pures ou appliquees a l'histoire naturelle générale et à l'hygiène publique, (2)-795 pp, 12 plates.
4) Mémoires et Rapports sur Divers Sujets de Chimie et de Physique Pures, (2)-774 pp, 4 plates.
Very sturdily rebound in block cloth. Title pages all have a few library stamps, and there is a gilt-stamped call number on the spine (bottom). This is a very sturdy, tight set, with the text in VG condition. The plates are all very crisp. Nice copy for the working library. $500
Davy, Humphrey. "Ueber die chemischen Wirkungen der Electricität. (Vorgelesen in der königl. Societät zu London, als Bakerian Lecture am 20sten Novemb. 1806)". In: Annalen der Physik, (Halle, Rengerschen Buchhandlung, 1808) , Series I/band 28, parts 1+2 with1 engraved plate. Davy's paper occupies pp 1-43. and pp. 161-202.
We offer the entire issue for the full half-year, with all four original front and rear wrappers bound in, and as such is quite rare. Very good condition. $750
First German edition. "Humphrey Davy...was among the first to investigate the decomposition of water. In 1806 he delivered a Bakerian Lecture (the paper offered here in the German version) before the Royal Society of London "On some chemical agencies of electricity" (1807), which pointed out several fallacies in the theory of electrolysis. Davy's experiments on the chemical effects of electrical currents on substances, causing their decomposition, led to his discovery of several new elements: potassium (1807), sodium (1807), barium (1808), calcium (1808), and boron (1808)" (Milestone of Science No. 52) Partington vol. IV 42; PMM No 255 (note).
Condition: Ex-libris Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahrtforschung, then Wright Patterson Field Library (USAF), then Library of Congress. Library markings: small gilt-stamped "Akademie der Luftfahrtforschung", page edges stamped "Wright Field Library/Dayton, Ohio" on top and bottom. Contents quite nice.
ITEM: original engraving, "Tabulosa Combinatoria", from Athanaseus Kircher's Mundus Subterraneus, 1664. 14 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches. Very nice condition. $350
Ref: JF Ptak Science Books Post 1325
The great semi-mystifying polymath Athanaseus Kircher (1602-1680) lived for a long time and filled his life with ideas and words, producing dozens of books during his time on Earth, some of which were never published even though written, some manuscripts lost forever. His was a massive output of extraordinary breadth. He wasted little time what I can see, writing on a spectacul;ar range of subjects, enlightening people, confusing people, generating great theories and some bad ideas.
The image below comes from his Mundus Subterraenus, published in 1664, and which was concerned mainly with geology and the theory of the Earth. He postulated the structure of the interior of the Earth, the origin of heat, the source of the tides, the composition of light, and of course the existence of the Virgin Mary in amber. There was also a fair amount of work on one of his side interests that populated a number of hs works, alchemy and the search for the organization of materials.
This image, "Tabula Combinatoria" (combinatory table or table of combinations) was an attempt to classify the alchemical transformation of metals and nonmetals via solve and coagula (mediante igne solvuntur et coagulatur), of solution and coagulation, a Curiosi Lectoris of Chymicas operationes, in a search for the key to all transformations, the prima materia.
Kircher as I said exceeded his learning and logic all throughout his life, usually with positive results to us here in his future; but in this case, his alchemical quest--like the million words and countless hours and lead-based brain damage undertaken by Sir Isaac--proved to be a dry hole. But dry holes like mistakes in general are not necessarily without importance--they are valueless if and only if nothing comes of them, or nothing is recognized in i n the method of leading to the mistake, or if by our using the mistake it didn't allow you to pursue something else. Science life is filled with almost nothing but error to the observer--it is our job to do something with the stuff that doesn't work.
[the image is continued but trailed off of my scanner.]