2 vols, 4to, pp. I: liv, 502, II: xxxii, 646, with 4 pp. facsimiles of Adams’s autograph notes and 6 folding charts, with a steel stipple-engraved frontispiece portrait to vol. I; a fine copy unopened in publisher’s blue cloth, spines lettered in gilt; very slight rubbing at extremities, minimal sunning to spines; with ‘in memoriam’ plates to upper pastedowns.
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The scientific Papers … edited by William Grylls Adams … with a Memoir by J.W.L. Glaisher.
First edition of the posthumously published collected papers of the Cambridge mathematician and astronomer, John Couch Adams (1819–1892). ‘In retrospect Adams’ many mathematical and astronomical achievements pale in comparison to his analysis of the orbit of Uranus and his prediction of the existence and position of Neptune at the age of twenty-four. Much of his later work has been superseded, but as the co-discoverer of Neptune he occupies a special and undiminished place in the history of science’ (DSB).
For Adams’s original paper on The Observed Irregularities in the Motion of Uranus (1846), see Dibner 16.
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Observations microscopiques sur les mouvements des globules végétaux suspendus dans un menstrue.
An extremely rare offprint from the Memorie della Reale Accademia delle Scienze di Torino on Brownian Movement and a contribution to the ‘heated controversy with the best known botanists of the world [started by the] discovery that made [Amici] famous ... that of the fertilization of phanerogams, particularly the travel of the pollen tube through the pistil of the flower (1821)’ (DSB). Botto quotes scientists from Buffon and Needham to Brown and Herschel. He was professor of physics at the University of Turin and a member of the Reale Academia. He published several works on physical and chemical problems.
KEYNES, John Maynard.
A treatise on probability.
First edition, an early issue without the errata slip at p. 423, of this mathematical-philosophical work, in which Keynes sought to establish a mathematical basis for probability theory as Russell and Whitehead had done for symbolic logic. Russell wrote of this work “the mathematical calculus is astonishingly powerful, considering the very restricted premises which form its foundation... the book as a whole is one which it is impossible to praise too highly” (quoted in DSB). The Treatise grew out of Keynes’ fellowship dissertation and represents a contribution of the first importance in its field, tackling the problems of induction and the analysis of statistical inference. A further admirable feature of the work is the wealth of historical information supplied; the bibliography listing 600 works updates the earlier treatments of Todhunter and Laurent.