HUYGENS (CHRISTIAAN) Traité de la lumière. Où sont expliquées les causes de ce qui luy arrive dans la reflexion, & dans la refraction. Et particulierement dans l'etrange refraction du cristal d'Islande. Par C.H.D.Z., FIRST EDITION, Leiden, Pieter van der Aa, 1690
Lot 100
HUYGENS (CHRISTIAAN)
Traité de la lumière. Où sont expliquées les causes de ce qui luy arrive dans la reflexion, & dans la refraction. Et particulierement dans l'etrange refraction du cristal d'Islande. Par C.H.D.Z., FIRST EDITION, Leiden, Pieter van der Aa, 1690
Sold for £10,000 (US$ 13,366) inc. premium

Lot Details
[HUYGENS (CHRISTIAAN)]
Traité de la lumière. Où sont expliquées les causes de ce qui luy arrive dans la reflexion, & dans la refraction. Et particulierement dans l'etrange refraction du cristal d'Islande. Par C.H.D.Z., FIRST EDITION, FIRST STATE (with author's initials on title, general title printed in red and black with woodcut vignette (repeated on title to second part), numerous woodcut diagrams in the text, a very few small wormholes filled in blank gutter margin but generally a very clean copy, contemporary calf, rebacked to match with red gilt morocco lettering label [Dibner 146; Norman 1139] small 4to (189 x 157mm.), Leiden, Pieter van der Aa, 1690

Footnotes

  • First edition of Huygen's important pioneering exposition of his wave theory of light. Although Huygens completed this work in 1678, he left it unpublished for twelve years. According to Huygen's theory light "is an irregular series of shock waves which proceeds with very great, but finite, velocity through the ether. This ether consists of uniformly minute, elastic particles compressed very close together. Light, therefore, is not an actual transference of matter but rather of a 'tendency to move,' a serial displacement similar to a collision which proceeds through a row of balls... Huygens therefore concluded that new wave fronts originate around each particle that is touched by light and extend outward from the particle in the form of hemispheres...' (DSB).
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