Vollständiger Lehrbegriff der Optik nach Herrn Roberts Smiths Englischen mit Aenderungen und Zusätzen ausgearbeitet von Abraham Gotthelf Kästner. Robert SMITH.

Vollständiger Lehrbegriff der Optik nach Herrn Roberts Smiths Englischen mit Aenderungen und Zusätzen ausgearbeitet von Abraham Gotthelf Kästner.

Engraved allegorical vignette on title & 22 folding engraved plates. 12 p.l., 531, [5] pp. Large 4to, cont. half-sheep & speckled boards (light foxing throughout), spine gilt, contrasting leather lettering piece on spine. Altenburg: Richter, 1755.

First edition in German (1st ed.: 1738). This is an important edition, containing the valuable alterations and additions of Abraham Gotthelf Kästner (1719-1800), professor of mathematics and physics at the University of Göttingen. He became “an influential figure through his teaching and writing; Göttingen’s reputation as a center of mathematical studies dates from that time. Kaestner is also known in German literature, notably for his epigrams...Kaestner owes his place in the history of mathematics to his great success as an expositor and to the seminal character of his thought. His output as a writer in mathematics and its applications (optics, dynamics, astronomy), in the form of long works and hundreds of essays and memoirs, was prodigious.”–D.S.B., VII, p. 206.

This was “the most influential optical textbook of the eighteenth century.”–D.S.B., XII, p. 477. It is largely based on the optics of Newton. “Of the four books...the first deals in a non-technical manner with the fundamental experiments in optics, while the second provides a more formal treatment of the geometrical theory of the subject. Smith studied the problem of spherical aberrations in greater generality than his predecessors, Barrow and Huygens. The third book describes apparatus for grinding and polishing lenses and specula, and it gives a complete account of the construction, adjustment, and use of the principal optical instruments, while the fourth book gives a history of telescopic discoveries in the heavens.”–Wolf, History of Science, II, p. 171. There is a long chapter on various microscopes.

An absolutely lovely copy with attractive stenciled endpapers. Bookplate of the Augustiner-Chorherrenstifts Rottenbuch in upper Bavaria.

❧ Clay & Court, History of the Microscope, pp. 46, 70, 98, 110, 116, 117, & 229-31. King, History of the Telescope, pp. 56, 78, 84-85, & 120.

Price: $5,500.00

Item ID: 1468

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