14 June 2006
TORRICELLI, Evangelista (1608-1647). Lezioni accademiche. Edited by Tommaso Bonaventuri. Florence: Jacopo Guiducci, 1715.
4o (246 x 178 mm). Half-title, engraved portrait after Pietro Anichini, printer's engraved device on title, 2 small text woodcuts, woodcut head- and tailpieces and initials. 18th-century vellum over boards (abrasion to edge of lower cover, with portion of the boards showing).
FIRST EDITION of Torricelli's twelve unpublished lectures, delivered to the Accademia della Crusca, the Studio Fiorentino, and the Academy of Drawing. The lectures relate mainly to physics, and include discussions of impact, wind, and military architecture. "From the point of view of physics, the lectures on the force of impact and on wind are of particular interest. In the former he said that he was reporting ideas expressed by Galileo in their informal conversations, and there is no lack of original observations. For example, the assertion that 'forces and impetus' (what we call energy) lie in bodies was interpreted by Maxwell in the last paragraph of A Treatise on Electricty and Magnetism (1873) as meaning that the propagation of energy is a mediate and not remote action. In the lecture on wind Torricelli ... advanced the modern theory that winds are produced by differences of air temperature, and hence of density, between two regions of the earth" (DSB). Bonaventuri's preface contains a biography of Torricelli and a good overview of his work; it also reprints Torricelli's letters on the barometric experiment. Dibner Heralds of Science 149; Norman 2088.
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