Traite de mecanique celeste. Pierre Simon de LAPLACE.

Traite de mecanique celeste.

Paris: L’Impremerie de Crapelet, Ches J. B. M. Duprat, 1799-1827. FIRST EDITION. Complete with folding plate in Volume 4, all half titles and errata; with an extra errata leaf in Volume 4, uncalled for by Horblit. Volumes I and II printed on paper watermarked “Mecanique Celeste.” In prize half calf, gilt arms of Glasgow University, spines elaborately gilt with morocco labels. With prize bookplate awarding this copy to George Johnson in the class of physics, April 1910. Johnson (b.1889) was a navel architect who graduated in 1912. During World War I he worked on the battle-cruiser Renown and submarines for the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. A fine set. pp. Item #14185

First edition, first issue, first state of the author’s monumental work in which all the laws of planetary motion are deduced from the concept of universal gravity. It includes all supplements found lacking in many copies. Considered a sequel to Newton’s Principia, Laplace argues that the universe was really a great self-regulating machine and that the whole solar system could continue on its existing plan for an immense period of time. This was a great step forward from the Newtonian uncertainties in this area. He also offered a brilliant explanation of the secular inequalities of the mean motion of the moon about the earth, a problem which Euler and Lagrange had failed to solve. This work also contains Laplace's fundamental contribution to the subject of capillarity in which he showed for the first time that capillary phenomena could be explained by the assumption of forces between the ultimate particles of matter, varying inversely as a power higher than the square of the distance.

Laplace (1749-1827), considered the Isaac Newton of France, was one of the most influential scientists in the fields of mathematics, celestial mechanics, and physics. He dedicated this major work to Bonaparte (Volume 3), who honored him with the title of Marquis.

Dibner, 14; Horblit, 63; Norman, 1277; Printing & the Mind of Man, 252.

Price: $19,500.00

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