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, 4. Folge, vol. 17.

Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1905

8vo, pp. viii, 1020 pp., 5 plates. Contemporary green quarter morocco and marbled sides spine faded and a little rubbed, otherwise a fine copy. Small bookplate of the Institut Catholique de Paris and a few small and discreet stamps; bookplate of David L. DiLaura. The whole volume is offered, of which the three papers occupy pp. 132–148, 549–560, and 891–921 respectively.

FIRST PRINTINGS of three important early papers by Einstein. In the first paper, “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… For this paper, together with the one on the photoelectric effect published in 1906, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. The second paper proved, according to Einstein himself, 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” (Clark, Einstein, p. 87). Experimental verification of the predictions made in this paper contributed to proving the physical reality of molecules. The third paper, on the electrodynamics of moving bodies, was Einstein’s first statement of the special theory of relativity. “Two revolutionary conclusions were reached in this paper: first, that all motion was relative to the inertial system in which it was measured; and second, that matter and energy are equivalent The presentation of these theories, which were proved some years later, constituted nothing less than a radical reinterpretation of the universe, dethroning the Newtonian view which had ruled for over two centuries” (Norman). This has formed the basis of today’s atomic reactors. Dibner 167 and Horblit 26b (both the third paper). Norman catalogue 689, 690, and 691A. Weil 6, 8, and 9.


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