Description

    Written by the Inventor of the Photometer
    and Founder of Atmospheric Optics

    Pierre Bouguer. Traité D'Optique Sur La Gradation De La Lumiere: Ouvrage posthume... Paris: H.L. Guerin & L. F. Delatour, 1760. First edition. Quarto. 1, a3, b4.c2.A-2Z4. xviii, [2], 368 pages. Royal device on title page, large head-piece, and eight folding plates. Contemporary French mottled calf, spine banded, gilt, title in gilt on red morocco label, edges red and marbled endpapers. Minor edge rubbing, front hinge cracked at bottom, corners rubbed, very minor foxing, a fine clean crisp copy with ample margins. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit HA.com/6127 for an extended description of this lot.


    More Information:

    "Bouguer is regarded as the founder of photometry, the branch of optics concerned with measuring the intensity of light. His two most important contributions to the subject are contained in the Essai, the first part of which states his method of comparing the relative brightness of two lights by using the eye as a null indicator (i.e. to establish the equality of brightness of two adjunct surfaces) and applying the law of inverse squares. The second part contains the first statement of what is often called Bourguer's law: that in a medium of uniform transparency, the light remaining in a collimated beam is an exponential function of the length of its path in the medium." [Norman Catalog]

    "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, pages 343-44.

    Norman 286. Poggendorf 1: 254.



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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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