Amsterdam: Janssonio-Waesbergios, 1728. Two works in one (first work in 2 parts). 4to. 10, , 315, ; [xxii], 226; [ii], 184 pp. FIRST EDITIONS. Titles in red and black. With 58 folding engraved plates. Contemporary calf; some occasional browning and offsetting of plates, otherwise a very nice wide-margined copy. Item #14157
First edition, edited by ’sGravesande. This set represents one of the most comprehensive collections of works by the great Dutch scientist Huygens. The present volumes contain his works on gravity and accelerated motion, the laws of elastic bodies, and the undulatory theory of light, perhaps his most important achievement. Also included are his tracts on optics, instructions on grinding lenses for telescopes, and a description of the Planetary Automate machine he constructed portraying the movements of the solar system. This machine, as well as a number of other innovations and discoveries, are all depicted in the finely engraved illustrations.
Huygens (1629-1695), Dutch astronomer and physicist, was one of the greatest scientists of his century. He successfully used the pendulum to regulate clocks, improved the telescope, and developed a wave theory of light, which was first recognized and credited by Young a full century later. Huygens’ light theories were opposed to Newton’s corpuscular theory of propagation, and remained unaccepted for a century until they were successfully used to explain optical interference. The combined ideas of Huygens and Newton have been applied to the quantum theory by physicists such as Planck, Einstein, and de Broglie.