London, South Kensington
23 April 2008
HELMHOLTZ, Hermann von (1821-1894). Über die Erhaltung der Kraft, eine physikalische Abhandlung. Berlin: G. Reimer, 1847, 8° (231 x 143mm). (A little foxing throughout). Original printed wrappers (very small hole at head of front wrapper), in a folding green quarter morocco box.
FIRST EDITION of 'the first comprehensive statement of the first law of thermodynamics: that all modes of energy, heat, light, electricity, and all chemical phenomena, are capable of transformation from one to the other but are indestructible and cannot be created' (PMM). Helmholtz analysed different forms of energy and different kinds of force and motion, classifying them as kinetic or potential. He gave mathematical expression to the energy of motion, thus providing an experimental measure for research into force and energy. The principle of conservation of energy proved to be of fundamental importance both in scientific research and in the development of technology. Dibner 159; Garrison-Morton 611; Grolier/Horblit 48; Milestones of Science 96; PMM 323; Norman 1039.
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