Description

    The First Printing of Three of Four of Einstein's Groundbreaking Annus Mirabilis Papers

    Albert Einstein. "Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt." [And:] "Über die von der molekularkinetischen Theorie der Wärme geforderte Bewegung von in ruhenden Flüssigkeiten suspendierten Teilchen." [And:] "Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper." In Annalen der Physik, Vierte Folge, Band 17 (1905), pages 132-148, 549-560, and 891-921. Leipzig: Verlag von Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1905.

    First printing of three of four of Einstein's Annus Mirabilis papers. Whole volume offered. Octavo (8.5 x 5.5 inches). viii, 1020 pages.

    Contemporary half purple cloth over marbled boards. Neatly rebacked, with most of the original spine laid down. Spine ruled and lettered in gilt. Spine and boards show some fading, edges of boards worn. Unobtrusive library mark on the spine. Internally fine. Extremely scarce.

    In the first paper, "On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light" (pages 132-148), "Einstein suggested that light be considered a collection of independent particles of energy, which he called 'light quanta.' Such a hypothesis, he argued, would provide an answer to the problem of black-body radiation where classical theories had failed, and would also explain several puzzling properties of fluorescence, photoionization and the photoelectric effect" (Norman Library). It was for this paper, together with one on the photoelectric effect ("Zur Theorie der Lichterzeugung und Lichtabsorption"), published in 1906, that Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Norman Library 689. Weil 6.

    The second paper, "On the Motion of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid, as Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat" (pages 549-560), proved, that "according to the molecular theory of heat, bodies of dimensions of the order of 1/1000 mm. suspended in liquid experience apparent random movement due to the thermal motion of molecules. Such movement of suspended bodies has actually been observed by biologists who call it Brownian molecular movement" (Einstein quoted Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, page 87). Norman Library 690. Weil 8.

    The third paper, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" (page 891-921), was Einstein's first statement of the special theory of relativity. In it he argued that all motion is relative to the inertial system in which it is measured, and that matter and energy are equivalent. As he himself remarked, "it modifies the theory of space and time" (quoted in Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, page 87). Dibner, Heralds of Science, 167. Grolier/Horblit 26b. Norman Library 691A. Weil 9.

    Einstein's extraordinary scientific papers contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics and changed views on space, time, and matter. This work is generally considered to be the most remarkable volume of any published scientific journal.


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