REGNAULT, [Henri Victor].

[Collected papers in physics.] In: Mémoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences de l’Institut de France, tome XXI [–XXVI–XXVII].

Paris: De l’Imprimerie de Firmin Didot Frères…1847

3 volumes, large 4to, 2 leaves, pp. xxiv, 767, folding letterpress table at p. 227 and 8 folding engraved plates (one a very large graph); 2 leaves, pp. xlviii, x, (3)–928, 5 folding plates; pp. 968, and 5 folding plates. Spotting on the endpapers and title-pages, a little dust-soiling on the edges of some plates, otherwise a very clean set. Contemporary half calf (a little rubbed, head of spine of volume 1 a little worn, crack at foot of one joint), red and green morocco labels on spines, marbled sides. Signature of A. Scott in volume 1, bookplates of A.C. Egerton, i.e. Sir Alfred Charles Egerton (1886–1959), chemist.

FIRST COLLECTED EDITION of Regnault’s papers on physics. Volumes 1 and 2 contain his “Relation des expériences pour déterminer les principales lois et les données numériques qui entrent dans le calcul des machines à vapeur”, and volume 3 his “Mémoire sur la vitesse de propogation des ondes dans les milieux gazeux” and “Mémoire sur la détente des gaz.” “Regnault’s early work in physics began with a systematic experimental study of the specific heats of a wide range of solids and liquids. In the course of this work…he conclusively demonstrated the approximate nature of Dulong & Petit’s law and confirmed the validity…of F.E. Neumann’s extension of the law from elements to compounds. In 1842…Regnault was appointed by the minister of public works to redetermine all the physical constants involved in the design and operation of steam engines; it was then that he began the research on the thermal properties of gases for which he is best known. “In fact Regnault did far more than was asked of him; and in nearly thirty years of painstaking experiments…he not only provided the standard data that practising engineers were to use for several decades but also subjected the laws governing the physical properties of gases to a thorough and long-overdue reexamination… “Regnault’s accounts of his experiments in physics were collected in three vols. of the Mémoires de l’Académie des Sciences,…which were also published, simultaneously and with identical pagination, as Relation des expériences…” (DSB).


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