10 December 1999
GIBBS, Josiah Willard (1839-1903). On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances. In Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. III, Parts 1, pp. 108-248, and 3, pp. 343-524. New Haven: Connecticut Academy, 1876-1878.
2 parts, 8o (241 x 154 mm). Original grey printed wrappers, uncut and unopened (front cover of Part 1 detached, stains and fading to wrappers, spines darkened, small losses to spines). Red quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: Robert and Marion Honeyman (bookplate inside folding case, sale Sotheby's New York, 5 November 1979, lot 1495).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FOUNDATION WORK OF CHEMICAL THERMODYNAMICS. Gibbs, the greatest American mathematical physicist, introduced in this work the "phase rule" to solve the intricate problem of the equilibrium of such mixtures as chemical solutions and metal alloys. Largely ignored in both America and abroad for more than ten years after this initial appearance, its impact upon modern industrial technology was enormous. His mathematical equations relieved scientists of immeasurable numbers of experiments in order to ascertain the precise conditions for successful chemical processes. Dibner Heralds 49; Grolier/Horblit 40; Norman 899 (offprint).
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