Publisher Information: London: J. Mawman, 1804.
Inscribed to Francis Maseres
Leslie, John (1766-1832). An experimental inquiry into the nature, and propagation, of heat. 8vo. xv [1, errata], 562pp. Slip titled "Additional errata" tipped to errata page. 9 folding plates. London: J. Mawman, 1804. 211 x 129 mm. Quarter morocco, marbled boards in period style. Light browning, stamps of the Inner Temple Library on title, plate versos and 1 or 2 other places, but very good. Author's presentation inscription to Baron [Francis] Maseres (1731-1824) on the flyleaf: "To Baron Maseres with best wishes from the Author." Maseres's signature on title. Bookplate of the Inner Temple.
First Edition. Leslie's magnum opus "established several fundamental laws of heat radiation: that the emissivity and absorptivity for any surface are equal, that the emissivity of a surface increases with the increase of reflectivity, and that the intensity of heat radiated from a surface is proportional to the sine of the angle of the rays to the surface. The book also played a major role in the early nineteenth-century argument about whether heat was a form of matter or a mode of motion. Leslie's experiments showed that heat, unlike light, was not directly transmitted through transparent solids. Since Leslie embraced a corpuscular theory, he incorrectly interpreted the apparent blackage of heat radiation as evidence that heat was composed of particles much larger than those of light. He borrowed from James Hutton the basic notion that heat was a compound formed by the union of light particles with ordinary particles of matter. Francois Delarotche later showed that Leslie's failure to detect direct transmission of heat through solids was a result of using only low-temperature heat sources whose radiation was absorbed by the solid screens. In the meantime, Leslie's puzzling experimental results had stimulated further investigations of diathermancy and the nature of radiant heat" (DSB).
Francis Maseres, the recipient of this copy, wrote several works on mathematics (one with Charles Babbage) that won the praise of Joseph Priestley; he also served as Quebec's attorney-general from 1766-69. He was a member of the Inner Temple, to which he bequeathed his library. Roberts & Trent, Bibliotheca Mechanica, p. 203. Cardwell, From Watt to Clausius, pp. 107-112. DNB for Maseres.Book Id: 34297