OHM, Georg Simon (1789-1854). Die galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet. Berlin: J.G.F. Kniestädt for T.H. Riemann, 1827.
8° (216 x 135mm). Engraved plate. Errata leaf R1 and one leaf publisher's list R2. (Lightly spotted, more heavily spotted on quire P, occasional minor marking on margins, bifolia A3.6, A4.5, B4.5, G2.7, G3.6, and G4.5 loose, plate bound in upside down, verso of plate partially adhering to lower wrapper.) Contemporary marbled-paper wrappers (chipped with small losses at edges, spine a little worn with loss at head, block split). Provenance: Bergler Hauptmann (early inscription on inside of upper wrapper) -- early ink pressmark on inside of upper wrapper and inscription 'Ddg' on margin of P6r -- remains of early paper labels bearing pressmarks on spine and upper wrapper -- Split State Gymnasium Educational and Staff Libraries (inkstamps).
FIRST EDITION. AN UNCUT AND COMPLETE COPY OF 'OHM'S GREAT WORK' (DSB), containing the fully-developed presentation of his theory of electricity, including Ohm's Law. Ohm received his scientific and mathematical education principally through his own and his father's efforts, supplemented by his studies at Erlangen University which culminated in a doctorate in 1811. Following a series of unsatisfactory appointments teaching mathematics and physics, and the publication of his elementary geometry text Grundlinien zu einer zweckmässigen Behandlung der Geometrie als höheren Bildungsmittels an vorbereitenden Lehranstalten (Erlangen: 1817), Ohm decided to pursue the original research for which he is now remembered. Using a combination of purely mathematical and experimental techniques, Ohm investigated the diminuition of electromagnetic force in conductors. Following the publication of preliminary results in 1825 and 1826, he brought together his findings in a finished form in the present work. The structure of Die galvanische Kette was deliberately modelled on J.B.J. Fourier's Théorie analytique de la chaleur (Paris: 1822), and sought to emphasise the parallels between the phenomena of electricity and heat, and the laws that govern both. The most important element of Die galvanische Kette is the statement and mathematical proof of Ohm's Law (given as the equation S=A/L), which states that the current in a galvanic circuit is constant across all cross sections of conductors and is equal to the sum of all the electrical tensions divided by the impedance of the circuit. This fundamental electrical precept was appreciated by some in Germany in the years immediately following publication, but widespread understanding and acknowledgement of its importance did not come until the late 1830s and early 1840s, when Ohm's work began to receive official recognition, with corresponding memberships of the Berlin and Turin academies in 1839 and 1841 respectively, the award of the Royal Society of London's Copley Medal in 1841 and finally (just before his death), the chair of physics at the University of Munich in 1852. In 1881, when the importance of Ohm's work was fully understood, the standard unit of electrical resistance was named the ohm in his honour at the Paris Conference on international standards.
The present copy not only retains the errata leaf R1, but also the less common one-leaf publisher's list R2, which is frequently missing (the Dibner, Norman, Waller and Wellcome copies and the copy described by Grolier Science all lack it). Dibner Heralds (1980) 63; Horblit Science 81; Norman 1607; PMM 289; Waller 11419; Wellcome IV, p.260.