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Optics Books & Ephemera



    Elementary Geometrical Optics. by RAMSEY, Arthur Stanley (1867-1954)

    London:: G. Bell and Sons, 1914., 1914. 8vo. xi, 173, [ads 2] pp. 131 figs. Blue blind and gilt-stamped cloth; some black cover stains, rubbed. Ffep trimmed (severely – a fragment), heavy offsetting to half-title. Rubber stamps to half-title and title of the Bath High School for Girls. Ownership signature. Very good. [HL]



    Elementary Geometrical Optics. by RAMSEY, Arthur Stanley (1867-1954)

    London:: G. Bell and Sons, 1914., 1914. 8vo. xi, 173, [ads 2] pp. 131 figs. Blue blind and gilt-stamped cloth (with "Class Room" stamped in gilt on upper cover). Very good. [HL]



    Vollständiger Lehrbegriff der Optik nach Herrn Roberts Smiths Englischen mit Aenderungen und Zusätzen ausgearbeitet von Abraham Gotthelf Kästner by SMITH, Robert

    Engraved allegorical vignette on title & 22 folding engraved plates. 12 p.l., 531, [5] pp. Large 4to, cont. half-sheep & speckled boards (light foxing throughout), spine gilt, contrasting leather lettering piece on spine. Altenburg: Richter, 1755. First edition in German (1st ed.: 1738). This is an important edition, containing the valuable alterations and additions of Abraham Gotthelf Kästner (1719-1800), professor of mathematics and physics at the University of Göttingen. He became "an influential figure through his teaching and writing; Göttingen's reputation as a center of mathematical studies dates from that time. Kaestner is also known in German literature, notably for his epigrams...Kaestner owes his place in the history of mathematics to his great success as an expositor and to the seminal character of his thought. His output as a writer in mathematics and its applications (optics, dynamics, astronomy), in the form of long works and hundreds of essays and memoirs, was prodigious."-D.S.B., VII, p. 206. This was "the most influential optical textbook of the eighteenth century."-D.S.B., XII, p. 477. It is largely based on the optics of Newton. "Of the four books...the first deals in a non-technical manner with the fundamental experiments in optics, while the second provides a more formal treatment of the geometrical theory of the subject. Smith studied the problem of spherical aberrations in greater generality than his predecessors, Barrow and Huygens. The third book describes apparatus for grinding and polishing lenses and specula, and it gives a complete account of the construction, adjustment, and use of the principal optical instruments, while the fourth book gives a history of telescopic discoveries in the heavens."-Wolf, History of Science, II, p. 171. There is a long chapter on various microscopes. An absolutely lovely copy with attractive stenciled endpapers. Bookplate of the Augustiner-Chorherrenstifts Rottenbuch in upper Bavaria. ❧ Clay & Court, History of the Microscope, pp. 46, 70, 98, 110, 116, 117, & 229-31. King, History of the Telescope, pp. 56, 78, 84-85, & 120.



    Physical Optics. by Academician D.V. Skobel'tsyn, [Editor]

    New York, NY Plenum Publishing: Consultants Bureau, 1966. Paperback EX-LIBRARY, showing the usual treatments. Else, Very Good+ in Wraps: shows indications of very light use: light wear to extremities; crease near lower front corner; binding square and secure; text clean. Remains clean, sturdy, presentable. NOT a Remainder or Book-Club. 4to. 270pp. Orange Wraps. Proceedings [Trudy] of the P.N. Lebedev Physics Institute, Volume 30. Translated from the Russian. Textbook Paperback.



    Opuscula Varii Argumenti by EULER, Leonhard

    Twelve folding engraved plates. 1 p.l., 300 pp.; 1 p.l., 166 pp.; 1 p.l., 165 pp. Three vols. in one. 4to, cont. sheep-backed mottled boards (minor rubbing, some foxing as is usual with this book). Berlin: A. Haude & J.C. Spener, 1746-50-51. First edition of one of Euler's scarcer works; this collection contains separate monographs on astronomy, optics, magnetism, electricity, mathematics, and physics and includes several of Euler's most important and fundamental works. Vol. I deals mostly with astronomy and optics. It is valuable for Euler's tables of the sun and moon and for his discussion of the problem of perturbations. Euler's studies in astronomy embraced a great variety of problems: determination of the orbits of comets and planets, calculation of the parallax of the sun, the physical nature of comets, celestial mechanics, etc. With regard to optics, Euler herein rejected the dominant corpuscular theory of light and constructed his own theory in which he attributed the cause of light to peculiar oscillations of ether. Vol. II is concerned with physics and mathematics. Topics examined here are the propagation of sound and light, analysis, the theory of differential equations, and ellipses. In Vol. III, "Euler adopts the Cartesian doctrine of pores and magnetic particles, magnetic matter is more subtile than the ether itself and is propagated through a magnet in one direction only, p. 10; declination and dip explained, p. 30."-Wheeler Gift Cat. 366. A very good set. Engraved bookplate of Canterzani. ❧ D.S.B., IV, pp. 467-84. Houzeau & Lancaster 3482. Sotheran, Supp., 2242-"Rare.".



    Traité d'Optique sur la Gradation de la Lumiere: Ouvrage posthume...publié par M. l'Abbé de la Caille.. by BOUGUER, Pierre

    Seven folding engraved plates. xviii, [2], 368 pp. Large 4to, cont. polished mottled calf (upper joint with a very slight & short crack at head), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: H.L. Guerin & L.F. Delatour, 1760. First edition of this uncommon work on the measurement of light by Bouguer (1698-1758), the father of photometry. "Just before he died, Bouguer completed a much larger book on photometry, the Traité d'optique sur la gradation de la lumiere, published posthumously (1760) by his friend the Abbé Nicolas Louis de la Caille. The Traité goes far beyond the Essai, describing a number of ingenious kinds of photometers, including a method of goniophotometry, and even attempting an elaborate theory of the reflection of light from rough surfaces, although this was not successful. The third and last part of the book, however, gives a valid elementary theory of the horizontal visual range through an obscuring atmosphere, arriving at a law, usually credited to H. Koschmieder, considered to belong to the twentieth century. It is fair to consider Pierre Bouguer not only the inventor of the photometer but also the founder of an important branch of atmospheric optics. The eighteenth century is not an outstanding epoch in the history of optics, but Bouguer's contribution to that science is notable by any standard."-D.S.B., II, pp. 343-44. Fine and attractive copy.



    Optice: sive de Reflexionibus, Refractionibus, Inflexionibus & Coloribus Lucis, Libri Tres...Latine reddidit Samuel Clarke.. by NEWTON, Isaac

    Twelve folding engraved plates. [1] leaf of ads, 1 p.l., xi, [1], 415 pp., [1] p. of ads. 8vo, 18th-cent. speckled calf (carefully rebacked by Aquarius), double gilt fillet round sides, spine richly gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: G. & J. Innys, 1719. Second edition in Latin and an influential book on the Continent. Newton published this edition in Latin to reach the Continental audience which had been little influenced by his optical experiments. The edition served its purpose and caused numerous demonstrations of his theory of colors to be performed in Paris. Newton's optical theories began to spread significantly outside Great Britain as a result of this book. See Westfall's Never at Rest, pp. 794-95. A very good copy with the signature, dated 14 Mar. 1822, of Stephen Peter Rigaud (1774-1839), historian of science, astronomer, and Savilian professor of geometry at Oxford. Stamp of the Radcliffe Observatory on verso of title. With the bookplate of William A. Cole, the distinguished collector and bibliographer of chemistry. ❧ Babson 138.



    Principles of Optical Disc Systems, by Van Rosmalen, G.; Schouhamer Immink, K

    CRC Press, 1985-01-01. Hardcover. Very Good. Ex-Library hardcover no dj (gray boards) in very nice condition with all the usual markings and attachments.



    Analytische Dioptrik in zwey Theilen. Der erste enthalt die allgemeine Theorie der optischen Werkzeuge: der zweyte die besondere Theorie und vortheilhafteste Einrichtung aller Gattungen von Fernrohren, Spiegelteleskopen, und Mikroskopen. by KLUGEL, GEORG SIMON (1739-1812)

    Leipzig:: Johann Friederich Junius, 1778., 1778. 2 parts in 1 vol. Sm. 4to. [xxiv], 303, [1] pp. Title vignette, 4 folding engraved plates (with 32 figs.), head and tail-pieces. Original half calf, decorative boards; very worn, joints splitting, extremities well worn. Title page signed by J. G. Kohler; bookplate of Ing. Dr. Edmund Neusser. First edition, dedicated to the famous mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). Klugel based his writings on that of Euler's work on optics. In his parts VII and VIII he deals with the telescope and especially the microscope. / Euler's own work on the theory of the achromatic microscope was written as early as 1762 and 1771, when he dealt with the subject more fully. In 1774, Euler's pupil and friend, Nicolas Fuss, wrote a little book on how to construct an achromatic microscope. Klugel translated that work in 1778 and then followed that with this more thorough treatment, being his Analytische Dioptrik [also 1778]. Due to the crudeness of design of the objective made in 1791by Francois Beeldsnyder (1755-1808), a colonel in the Amsterdam cavalry, Mayall asserts (and others uphold this view) that he feels the discussion of the dates of origin or this instrument are at best unclear. :: Mayall. See also: S. Bradbury, The Evolution of the Microscope, pp. 179-180. / Georg Simon Klugel (1739-1812), German mathematician and physicist, born in Hamburg, studied under Abraham Kastner ["the best teacher of mathematics in Germany" :: Vincenzo De Risi, Gerolamo Saccheri (1667-1733), Euclid Vindicated from Every Blemish: Edited and Annotated . . . (2014), p.52.] at the University of Gottingen. He was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Helmstedt and then was chair of mathematics and physics at the University of Halle. In this compendious work he corrected some of Euler's results and expanded with his own findings. In 1803-31 he published his famous dictionary of mathematics, Mathematisches Worterbuch (5 vols.). / Provenance [II]: [I] Johann Gottfried Kohler (1745-1801), Germen astronomer, known for discovering a number of nebulae, start clusters and galaxies. He was a colleague of Johann Elert Bode, another German astronomer of importance. In 1785 Kohler was appointed jointly director of the Desden Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon and the Kunstkammer. His catalogue of nebulae was published in 1780. He wrote a number of astronomical papers in German, and the following in the Philosophical Transactions, "Observations on the transit of Mercury 1786, May 4, at Dresden", (P.T., 1787). See: Hockey, Thomas, The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, 2009; Poggendorff, pp. 1290-1. / [II]: Ing. Dr. Edmund Neusser (1852-1912), born in Krakow, was appointed in 1893 a full professor and director of medicine in the University of Vienna. A highly respected clinician, he specialized in disorders of the blood and wrote about the circulatory system, liver and adrenal glands. See: Austrian Biographical Encyclopaedia. / DSB VII, pp. 404-05; Poggendorff I, 1277; John Mayall, Cantor Lectures on the Microscope, p. 61. See: Dieter Gerlach, Geschichte der Mikroskopie, (2009), p. 200.



    The Rise of the Wave Theory of Light, Optical Theory and Experiment in the Early Nineteenth Century. by BUCHWALD, Jed Z

    Chicago and London:: University of Chicago Press, (1989)., 1989. 8vo. xxiv, 474 pp. Diagrams, figures, index. Printed wrappers. Near fine. [br] "No one interested in the history of optics, the history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century physics, or the general phenomenon of theory change in science can afford to ignore Jed Buchwald's well-structured, highly detailed, and scrupulously researched book. . . . Buchwald's analysis will surely constitute the essential starting point for further work on this important and hitherto relatively neglected episode of theory change."—John Worrall, Isis. Contents: Part 1 – Selectionism ; 1. The Optical Ray ; 2. The Concept of Polarization ; 3. Arago and the Discovery of Chromatic Polarization ; 4. Mobile Polarization ; Part 2 - Fresnel, Diffraction, and Polarization ; 5. Fresnel's Ray Theory of Diffraction ; 6. Huygen's Principle and the Wave Theory ; 7. The Puzzle of Polarization ; 8. Transverse Waves ; Part 3 - Controversy and Unification ; 9. A Case of Mutual Misunderstanding ; 10. Selectionists and Polarization after 1815 ; 11. Fresnel's Final Unification ; 12. The Emerging Dominance of the Wave Theory. Jed Z. Buchwald is Doris and Henry Dreyfuss Professor of History at California Institute of Technology. He was previously director of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ISBN: 0226078868



    Pierre Bouguer's Optical Treatise on the Gradation of Light. Translated, with Introduction and Notes by W.E. Knowles Middleton. by BOUGUER, Pierre

    Toronto:: University of Toronto Press, (1961)., 1961. FIRST EDITION. 8vo. xiv, 248 pp. Frontis., illustrations, tables. Blue cloth, silver stamped spine title, dust-jacket; jacket worn. Burndy bookplate. Very good.



    Physico-Mathesis de Lumine, Coloribus, et Iride.. by GRIMALDI, Francesco Maria

    Added title-page with a large engraved vignette & woodcut diagrams in the text. Both titles printed in red & black. 11 p.l. (including the added title-page), 535 pp., 8 leaves. 4to, cont. calf (rebacked & corners repaired, some faint dampstains). Bologna: Heirs of V. Benati, 1665. First edition, the copy of William Molyneux (1656-98), astronomer, founder of the Dublin Philosophical Society, and author of the first treatise on optics in English (for more on Molyneux, see D.S.B., IX, pp. 464-66). This is Grimaldi's only book; in it he describes the discovery of optical diffraction. This is perhaps the rarest of all great optical books, especially in such good condition, and marks the first scientific attempt to establish a comprehensive wave theory of light. The diffraction experiments which Grimaldi describes here show "that a new mode of transmission of light had been discovered and that this mode contradicts the notion of an exclusively rectilinear passage of light. Diffraction thus gave prima facie evidence for a fluid nature of light. The name 'diffraction' comes from the loss of uniformity observed in the flow of a stream of water as it 'splits apart' around a slender obstacle placed in its path."-D.S.B., V, p. 544. Grimaldi repeatedly states that colors are not something different from light but are modifications of light produced by the fine structure of the bodies which reflect it, and probably consisting of an alteration in the type of motion and in the velocity of the light. The different colors are produced when the eye is stimulated by light oscillations whose velocities differ. All these views were of fundamental importance for the subsequent development of optics. Newton was aware of Grimaldi's work, though only secondhand. The Englishman's great contribution to the knowledge of diffraction is his set of careful measurements which made clear the periodic nature of the phenomenon. With the signature of William Molyneux on the second title-page. Bookplate of E.N. da C. Andrade. Very good copy and preserved in a slipcase. ❧ Albert, Norton, & Hurtes, Source Book of Ophthalmology, 919-contains "Grimaldi's work on the discovery of the diffraction (Newton's inflexion) of light...considered a classic in the history of optics, this work makes the first scientific attempt to establish the wave theory." Kemp, The Science of Art, p. 285.



    Opticks: or, a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light. The Second Edition, with Additions by NEWTON, Isaac

    Twelve folding engraved plates. 4 p.l., 382 pp., one leaf of ads. 8vo, cont. English panelled calf (well-rebacked with the orig. red morocco label laid-down, two corners a bit worn, a little dusty). London: W. & J. Innys, 1718. Second edition, revised and enlarged by Newton. This is the second issue with the title-page dated 1718 (1st issue: 1717). For this second edition, the first in octavo, the plates were newly engraved to suit the new format. While Newton left the body of the treatise largely untouched, "the number of Queries at the end was increased from 16 to 31, including the celebrated Query No. 28 on the nature of light."-Babson, I, p. 67. Very good copy with a few plates just shaved. Contemporary signature on free front endpaper: "Ex libris Hci Jefferson. ex ColI: Div: Joh: Cant: Dec: 27mo die, 1719. Pre: 6." ❧ Babson 134.



    Opticks: or, a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light by NEWTON, Isaac

    Twelve folding engraved plates. 4 p.l., 382 pp., one leaf of ads. 8vo, cont. calf (small portions of ends of spine & one corner carefully repaired), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: W. Innys, 1730. Fourth edition, and the final edition to be revised by Newton, of this great classic. It contains the complete set of 31 Queries which reveal some of Newton's most influential and speculative writing. Fine crisp copy. Contemporary armorial bookplate of Edward Powell. ❧ Babson 136.



    Optics in the Age of Euler; Conceptions of the Nature of Light, 1700-1795. by HAKFOORT, Casper

    Cambridge:: Cambridge University Press, 1995., 1995. 8vo. vi, 243 pp. Bibliography, index. Bright blue cloth, gilt-stamped spine, dust-jacket. Burndy bookplate. Fine. "According to received historiography, the fundamental issue in eighteenth-century optics was whether light could be understood as the emission of particles, or as the motion of waves in a subtle medium. Moreover, the emission theory of light was supposed to have been dominant in the eighteenth century, backed by Newton's physical arguments. This picture is enriched and qualified by focusing on the origins, contents and reception of the wave theory of light, published by Leonhard Euler in 1746, here studied in depth for the first time. Contrary to what has been assumed, . . . the particle–wave debate only starts with Euler. In addition, Euler's wave theory was the most popular theory in Germany for thirty-five years. Finally, when the emission view of light suddenly became dominant in Germany around 1795, new chemical experiments proved crucial. Reflecting on the mathematical, experimental and metaphysical aspects of physical optics, Casper Hakfoort provides as an epilogue a general picture of early modern science." - [publisher. ISBN: 0521404711



    Astronoma Militaire[.] Catalogue des modèles spéciaux déposées pour l'armée. by Clermont-Huet (Paris)

    Paris: Clermont-Huet, [ca. 1890]. 4to. [6] pp. Illustrated advertisement for military binoculars. The first page has a finely etched border with scenes of binoculars in use. Fair. Removed from a nonce volume. Last leaf detached. Brittle with tears, especially along folds; one spot of internal chipping with loss of letters; leaf trimmed in another place just shaving a letter.



    Optice: sive de Reflexionibus, Refractionibus, Inflexionibus et Coloribus Lucis, libri tres. Latine reddidit Samuel Clarke . . . Editio novissima. by NEWTON, Isaac (1643-1727)

    Lausannae & Geneva,: Marci-Michaelis Bousquet & Sociorum, 1740., 1740. 4to. [iv], xxxii, 363, [1] pp. Half-title, engraved frontispiece portrait of Newton (engr. Jean-Louis Daudet after Vanderbank), 12 engraved folding plates, title vignette of 4 cherubs and a female figure, each using an optical instrument, representing learning optics/perspective (drawn by Delamoncein and engraved by Daudet), head & tail pieces and woodcut initial letters drawn by Papillon, index; first 11 leaves browned. Contemporary full vellum, green leather gilt-stamped spine label, edges with decorative red freckling as designed by the binder; foot of spine with faint ink marking "11-[??]". Paper unevenly browned. Verso of title with small ink annotation "=1135="; rear pastedown with another notation "á 20.Luglio 1801." Very good. Third Latin edition, edited by Bousquet, with a dedication to Joannes Bernoulli. This edition contains the full array of 31 querries.* / "Newton's contributions to the science of optics :: his discovery of the unequal refractions of rays of different color, his theory of color, and his investigations of 'Newton's rings,' to mention only a few of the most noteworthy :: place him among the premier contributors to that science. . . . Today we recognize that his work on optics offers unique rewards in its exciting, innovative conjunction of physical theory, experimental investigation, and mathematics, and in the revealing glimpse that it provides of a crucial period in the evolution of experimental science." :: Alan E. Shapiro, The Optical Papers of Isaac Newton: Volume 1, (1984), p. xi. / Jean-Louis Daudet (1695-1756), who made the frontispiece and title vignette, was an engraver and print publisher active in Lyon, inherited business from his father Etienne Joseph Daudet. He flourished from 1722 till his death in 1756. Thereafter the business continued by his widow in association with his son-in-law Louis Martin Roch Joubert until 1773. / "Newton famously declared that it is not the business of science to make hypotheses. However, it's well to remember that this position was formulated in the midst of a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, who had criticized Newton's writings on optics when they were first communicated to the Royal Society in the early 1670's. The essence of Newton's thesis was that white light is composed of a mixture of light of different elementary colors, ranging across the visible spectrum, which he had demonstrated by decomposing white light into its separate colors and then reassembling those components to produce white light again. However, in his description of the phenomena of color Newton originally included some remarks about his corpuscular conception of light (perhaps akin to the cogs and flywheels in terms of which James Maxwell was later to conceive of the phenomena of electromagnetism). Hooke interpreted the whole of Newton's optical work as an attempt to legitimize this corpuscular hypothesis, and countered with various objections." / "Newton quickly realized his mistake in attaching his theory of colors to any particular hypothesis on the fundamental nature of light, and immediately back-tracked, arguing that his intent had been only to describe the observable phenomena, without regard to any hypotheses as to the cause of the phenomena. Hooke (and others) continued to criticize Newton's theory of colors by arguing against the corpuscular hypothesis, causing Newton to respond more and more angrily that he was making no hypothesis, he was describing the way things are, and not claiming to explain why they are. This was a bitter lesson for Newton and, in addition to initiating a life-long feud with Hooke, went a long way toward shaping Newton's rhetoric about what science should be. . .." / "The first edition of The Opticks (1704) contained only 16 queries, but when the Latin edition was published in 1706 Newton was emboldened to add seven more, which ultimately became Queries 25 through 31 when, in the second English edition, he added Queries 17 through 24. Of all these, one of the most intriguing is Query 28, which begins with the rhetorical question "Are not all Hypotheses erroneous in which Light is supposed to consist of Pression or Motion propagated through a fluid medium?" In this query Newton rejects the Cartesian idea of a material substance filling in and comprising the space between particles. Newton preferred an atomistic view, believing that all substances were comprised of hard impenetrable particles moving and interacting via innate forces in an empty space (as described further in Query 31)." :: Newton's Cosmological Queries :: MathPages. / Grace K. Babson, Sir Isaac Newton, (1950), 141; George J. Gray, A Bibliography of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton, 182; Wallis 182. See: Printing and the Mind of Man, 172.



    Traité de la Lumiere. Où sont expliquées les Causes de ce qui luy arrive dans la Reflexion, & dans la Refraction. Et particulierement dan l'etrange Refraction du Cristal d'Islande...Avec un Discours de la Cause de la Pesanteur by HUYGENS, Christian

    Woodcut device on general & divisional titles and numerous woodcut diagrams & illus. in the text. General title printed in red & black. 4 p.l., 124, [2], 125-128, [2], 129-180 pp. 4to, cont. vellum over boards. Leyden: P. vanderAa, 1690. First edition of one of the great classics of optics. This book contains Huygens' classical formulation of optical phenomena in terms of the wave theory of light, opposing the corpuscular theory advanced by Newton. Huygens showed how all points of a wave front originate partial waves and thereby propagate further wave motion. Thus reflection and refraction of light could also be explained. By the same means the complicated phenomena of double refraction and the polarization by double refraction were also explained. Huygens' wave theory of light remained unaccepted for over 100 years until Thomas Young used it to explain optical interference. The second part of this book - the Discours de la Cause de la Pesanteur - contains Huygens' mechanical explanation of gravity. His "point of view was that gravity should not be attributed to a quality or propensity of bodies, but should be explained, like every other natural process, in terms of motion."-Wolf, I, p. 164. This copy belongs to the issue in which Huygens' initials are on the title rather than his full name (no priority established). A fine and fresh copy. ❧ Dibner, Heralds of Science, 146. En Français dans le Texte 125. Evans, First Editions of Epochal Achievements in the History of Science (1934), 32. Horblit 54. Sparrow, Milestones of Science, 111.

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