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    Sale 1922

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    3 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 305

    LORENTZ, Hendrik Antoon (1853-1928). Versuch einer Theorie der electrischen und optischen Erscheinungen in bewegten Körpern. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1895.

    Price Realised  

    LORENTZ, Hendrik Antoon (1853-1928). Versuch einer Theorie der electrischen und optischen Erscheinungen in bewegten Körpern. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1895.

    8o. Original green half cloth and marbled boards, spine gilt lettered.

    FIRST EDITION of the second of Lorentz's seminal papers on the relationship of matter to electricity, following the publication in 1892 of his Théorie électromagnétique de Maxwell. In this book Lorentz introduced the Lorentz force in electrodynamics. The "Lorentz transformation equations describe the way space and time as distorted for objects traveling at a sizable fraction of the speed of light." (Gribbin) Lorentz also postulated that there are contractions of length with motion, and that the mass of a charged particle such as an electron depends upon its volume-the smaller the volume, the greater the mass. Arguing that mass increases with velocity led to the conclusion that the velocity of light in a vacuum is the greatest velocity at which any object can travel. Lorentz's equation describing how mass varies with velocity was adopted by Einstein in his Special Theory of Relativity (1905), in which he showed that the Lorentz mass-increase with velocity holds not only for charged particles but for all objects, charged or uncharged. Magill, The Nobel Prize Winners: Physics, pp. 35-42; PMM 378b.


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    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION