MAXWELL, James Clerk (1831-1879). ''A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field.'' In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Vol. 155, part I (1865), pp.459-512. London: Taylor and Francis, 1865.
MAXWELL, James Clerk (1831-1879). "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field." In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Vol. 155, part I (1865), pp.459-512. London: Taylor and Francis, 1865.
4o (300 x 230 mm). Original gray printed wrappers, uncut, partially unopened (some minor darkening to edges, minor chipping to spine ends); quarter morocco folding case.
FIRST EDITION of the fourth of Maxwell's five important papers on the foundations of electromagnetic theory published between 1855 and 1868. "By 1863... Maxwell had found a link of a purely phenomenological kind between electromagnetic quantities and the velocity of light. His fourth paper... clinched matters. It provided a new theoretical framework for the subject, based on experiment and a few general principles, from which the propagation of electromagnetic waves through space followed without any special assumptions about molecular vortices or the forces between electric particles" (DSB). "Clerk Maxwell, who may well be judged the greatest theoretical physicist of the nineteenth century, was happy to acknowledge his debt to Faraday; for what he did was to construct the mathematical theory of the field... In the present paper the consideration of 'mechanical models' representing the interplay and movement of electromagnetic forces on the field [of magnetic force, as conceived by Faraday], which Maxwell had pursued in earlier papers, was abandoned: the developed field-theory, expressed in twenty equations, was purely and elegantly mathematical" (PMM 355). Dibner Heralds of Science 68; Norman 1465; Wheeler Gift Catalogue 3463.