17 June 2008
LAPLACE, Pierre Simon, Marquis de. Traité de Mécanique Céleste. Paris: Crapelet for J.B.M. Duprat; Berlin: F.T. de la Garde 1799 (volumes 1-2); Paris: Crapelet for J.B.M. Duprat, 1802 (volume 3); Paris: Courcier, 1805 (Volume 4); Paris: Bachelier, 1823 [-1827] (volume 5).
5 volumes, 4o (267 x 205 mm). Half-titles. Engraved folding plate in vol. 4. (Some occasional minor spotting and browning.) Late 19th-century half brown morocco, marbled boards, gilt (some surface wear to boards, extremities rubbed); cloth slipcase.
FIRST EDITION OF LAPLACE'S FUNDAMENTAL WORK ON CELESTIAL MECHANICS. Published over a period of 27 years, Laplace's monumental Traité de Mécanique Céleste codified and further developed the theories and achievements of Newton, Euler, d'Alembert, and Lagrange. In the tradition of Newton's Principia, Laplace " ...applied his analytical mathematical theories to celestial bodies and concluded that the apparent changes in the motion of planets and their satellites are changes of long periods, and that the solar system is in all probability very stable" (Dibner). The first four volumes of this work appeared from 1799 through 1805, and contain the laws of mechanics and their application to the motions and figures of the heavenly bodies. The final parts of the fourth volume and the entire fifth volume contain important material on physics not already included in the original sequence. This set contains the second state title-pages in the first two volumes, with the added Berlin imprint (printed for European distribution). Dibner 14; Grolier/Horblit 63; Norman 1277; PMM 252; Sparrow Milestones of Science 125. (5)
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