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15 - 16 June 1998
COULOMB, Charles Augustin de (1737-1806). Mmoires sur l'lectricit et le magntisme, extraits des Mmoires de l'Acadmie Royale des Sciences de Paris, publis dans les annes 1785 1789. Premier mmoire [-septime mmoire]. Paris: Bachelier, 1785-89.
7 parts bound together in one volume, 4o (253 x 193 mm). 9 folding engraved plates, 3 folding tables. (2 leaves laid down at part divisions.) Modern quarter calf antique; half calf chemise; board slipcase.
FIRST PRINTINGS OF "THE INAUGURATION OF MENSURATION IN ELECTRICITY" (Grolier/Horblit). These papers describe his invention of the torsion balance, which lead to proving Coulomb's law of attraction and repulsion of electric charges. The first two memoirs deal with Coulomb's proof that electrical and magnetic forces of attraction and repulsion follow the law of inverse squares. The third through sixth memoirs demonstrate that charge distribution depends uniquely on mutual repulsion of like sign and on geometry and positioning of bodies. He here proposed his theory defining two types of conductors: perfect conductors, over whose surfaces electricity can flow freely, and dielectrics, which resist the passage of electricity to varying degrees. The seventh and final memoir presents Coulomb's fully developed theory of magnetism. "Coulomb determined from the relationship of torsion and quantitity of electric charge that attraction and repulsion followed the law of inverse squares" (Dibner). EXTREMELY RARE COMPLETE SERIES OF OFFPRINTS. Dibner Heralds of Science 58; Grolier/Horblit 31b; Norman 527.
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The Plantin Polyglot bible — offered in London on 11 July — makes an emotional homecoming to the Antwerp printing press where it was produced some 450 years ago