4 October 2002
EINSTEIN, Albert. Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt. Offprint from: Annalen der Physik, 4. Folge, Bd. 17, 1905. Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1905.
8o. Original tan printed wrappers (reinforced along spine fold, covers expertly tissue-lined on versos); quarter cloth folding case.
FIRST EDITION, offprint issue. This copy WITH PRINTED PRESENTATION STATEMENT ("A. Einstein. Überreicht vom Verfasser") printed on front wrapper. "In his first paper of 1905, Einstein suggested that light be considered a collection of independent particles of energy, which he called 'light quanta.' Such a hypothesis, he argued, would provide an answer to the problem of black-body radiation where classical theories had failed, and would also explain several puzzling properties of fluorescence, photoionization and the photoelectric effect" (Norman). It was for this paper, together with another on the photoelectric effect ("Zur Theorie der Lichterzeugung und Lichtabsorption"), published in 1906, that Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.
"In describing his 1905 papers, Einstein characterized only [this paper on light quanta] as revolutionary. It is still regarded as revolutionary for challenging the unlimited validity of Maxwell's theory of light and suggesting the existence of light quanta. [It] shows that, at a sufficiently high frequency, the entropy of equilibrium therm (or 'black-body') radiation behaves as if the radiation consisted of a gas of independent 'quanta of light energy' (or simply 'light quanta') each with energy proportional to the frequency of the corresponding wave. Einstein showed how to explain several otherwise puzzling phenomena by assuming that the interaction of light with matter consists of the emission or absorption of such light quanta "(Stachel, Einstein's Miraculous Year, p. 167.
VERY RARE. BRL 7; Norman 689 (journal issue); Weil 6.
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