On the illumination of lines of molecular pressure... bound with 3 other offprints (some presentation copies). William Crookes.

On the illumination of lines of molecular pressure... bound with 3 other offprints (some presentation copies)

Publisher Information: London: Royal Society, 1876.

Crookes, William (1832-1919). On the repulsion resulting from radiation. Parts III-IV. Offprint from Phil. Trans. 166 (1876). [325]-376pp. 2 plates, text illustrations. With: The Bakerian lecture. On the illumination of lines of molecular pressure and the trajectory of molecules. Offprint from Phil. Trans. 170 (1879). [2] 135-64pp. Chromolithographed plate, text diagrams. With: Contributions to molecular physics in high vacua. Offprint from Phil. Trans. 170 (1879). [2] 641-62pp. Text diagrams. Crookes' presentation inscription to John Fletcher Moulton on fragment of front wrapper. With: On the viscosity of gases and high exhaustions. With a note on the reduction of Mr. Crookes's experiments . . . by Professor G[eorge] G[abriel] Stokes. Offprint from Phil. Trans. (1881). [2] 387-446pp. 4 plates (3 fold.), text diagrams. Crookes' presentation inscription to Moulton on fragment of front wrapper. Together 4 offprints, 4to, bound in a single volume with two other works (see below). 296 x 225 mm. Half morocco c. 1883, rubbed, corners & extremities worn. Slight marginal browning, but fine. From the library of John Fletcher Moulton (1844-1921), with his bookplate.

First Editions. The first of the offprints listed above deals with Crookes' earlier discovery of what he originally believed to be "light pressure" within a vacuum balance, as predicted by the corpuscular theory of light and Maxwell's electromagnetic theory. This phenomenon led him to invent the familiar four-vaned "light-mill" or radiometer; however, it was later found (by Johnstone Stoney) that the action of the radiometer was caused not by light pressure but by the internal movements of the molecules in the residual gas.

Crookes had apparently not yet accepted Stoney's explanation when he wrote "On the repulsion resulting from radiation," since in paragraph 195 he speculates that the action of the radiometer is due to the absorption and radiation of heat.

The remaining three offprints are from the series of research papers that Crookes began in 1878, investigating the possibility that the dark space coating the cathode in low-pressure electrical discharges (later named "Crookes' dark space") was somehow related to the layer of molecular pressure causing movement in the radiometer.

"By attempting to determine the actual paths of 'lines of molecular pressure' on the analogy of Faraday's lines of magnetic force, Crookes came to work on the cathode rays, which until then had been the exclusive province of German experimentalists. An electric radiometer whose vanes acted as a cathode showed that the dark space separating the cathode from the cathode glow extended farther from the blackened side of the vane, and that only when the pressure was reduced to a point at which the dark space touched the sides of the radiometer tube did rotation occur. . . . With his thorough grounding in the experimentally difficult art of vacuum physics, Crookes laid the foundation for the fuller investigation by J. J. Thomson of the behavior of radiant matter in the discharge tube, showing, for example, that it induced phosphorescence in minerals like the diamond; that it caused the glass of the discharge tube to phosphoresce; that its stream could be deflected by a magnet; and, most important of all, that since it cast a shadow of an opaque object . . . it traveled in straight lines and was corpuscular in nature" (DSB).

Twenty years later Thomson demonstrated that this radiant matter consisted of electrons. These four offprints by Crookes are from the library of John Fletcher Moulton, an eminent barrister, judge and amateur scientist whose electrical researches had won him a fellowship in the Royal Society. Moulton bound the offprints together with two other scientific works (one of which he co-authored), as follows:

De la Rue, Warren (1815-89) & Muller, Hugo. Experimental researches on the electric discharge with the chloride of silver battery. Offprint, in 4 parts, from the Phil. Trans. 169 (1878) [parts 1-2]; 171 (1880) [part 3]; and 174 (1883) [part 4]. [2] 67 [1]; [2] 71-157 [1]; [2] 159-210; [2] 211-251pp. 10 plates (incl. port. of de la Rue), 3 lith. charts. 2-page "Uncorrected proof, exclusively for the use of the Fellows at the meeting of the Society" (1883), a follow-up to Part 4, bound in before that part's title. London: Royal Society, 1878-83. Author's presentation inscriptions to Moulton on fragments of front wrappers to parts 1, 2 & 4.

Spottiswoode, William (1825-83) & Moulton, John Fletcher (1844-1921). On the sensitive state of electrical discharges through rarified gases. [Part 2: On the sensitive state of vacuum discharges]. Offprint from Phil. Trans. (1879-80). [2] 165-229; [2] 561-652pp. 10 plates.

Book Id: 34833

Price: $2,000.00

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