Nouvelle formule pour trouver la hauteur des lieux par celles du baromètre et du thermomètre, avec laquelle on détermine, pour la première fois, le degré du thermomètre centigrade où le froid est absolu.

Paris, Deterville and widow Desray, 1826.

8vo, pp. [iv], 56; a good copy in contemporary plain interim wrappers, a little rubbed in places.


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First edition of a rare and neglected work of thermodynamics, in which Duvillard presents his own calculation of absolute zero, some twenty years before Lord Kelvin’s work on the subject. He calculates the temperature as -266⅔ ºC; today 0 K is calculated as -273.15ºC.

Born in Geneva of an ancient Huguenot family, Duvillard (1755–1832) was head of the statistical department of population in the office of the French Ministry of the Interior and is known today for his tables of mortality (included in Analyse et Tableaux de l’influence de la petite vérole sur la mortalité à chaque age, 1826) which were long used in France, and for his important Recherches sur les Rentes, les Emprunts et les Remboursemens (1787), one of the earliest works to use differential calculus in economic analysis. A short autobiographical piece is appended at the end of the present work.

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