4 October 2002
SITTER, Willem de (1872-1934). On Einstein's Theory of Gravitation, and its Astronomical Consequences. First [Second, Third] Paper. Offprints from: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. LXXVI, No. 9, Vol. LXXXVII, No. 2 and Vol. LXXVIII, No. 1. Edinburgh: Neill & Co., 1916-1917.
Together 3 volumes, 8o. Original printed wrappers; cloth folding case.
FIRST EDITIONS, offprint issues. "After [publication] of Einstein's paper on the generalized theory of relativity, De Sitter published a series of three papers... In the third of these papers he introduced what soon became known as the 'De Sitter universe' as an alternative to the 'Einstein universe'... De Sitter showed that in addition to the solution given by Einstein himself for the Einstein field equation... a second model was possible with systematic motions--particularly the 'expanding universe'--provided the density of matter could be considered negligible" (DSB). De Sitter's "expanding universe" model was confirmed in 1929 by Hubble's famous discovery of the velocity-distance relation for galaxies. De Sitter's papers directly inspired Eddington's solar eclipse expeditions of 1919 to measure the gravitation deflections of light rays passing near the sun, the results of which confirmed Einstein's theory of gravitation (see lot 70).
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