D’Alembert’s Masterpiece on Dynamics
Traité de Dynamique, dans lequel les Loix de l’Equilibre & du mouvement des Corps sont réduites au plus petit nombre possible, & démontrées d’une maniére nouvelle, & où l’on donne un Principe général pour trouver le Mouvement de plusieurs Corps qui agissent les uns sur les autres, d’une maniére quelconque.
Engraved vignette on title & four folding engraved plates. 2 p.l., xxvi, , 186,  pp. 4to, cont. marbled calf (extremities a trifle worn, preliminary leaves a bit discolored), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: David l’aîné, 1743.
First edition, and a fine copy, of d’Alembert’s masterpiece on dynamics; this has become a scarce book on the market. “The Traité de dynamique, which has become the most famous of his scientific works, is significant in many ways. First, it is clear that d’Alembert recognized that a scientific revolution had occurred, and he thought that he was doing the job of formalizing the new science of mechanics…The Traité also contained the first statement of what is known as d’Alembert’s principle. D’Alembert was, furthermore, in the tradition that attempted to develop mechanics without using the notion of force. Finally, it was long afterward said (rather simplistically) that in this work he resolved the famous vis viva controversy, a statement with just enough truth in it to be plausible.”–D.S.B., I, p. 111–(& see pp. 111-13 for a full account of the work).
Fine copy. From the library of Marchese Giulio Stanga Carlo Trecco (d. 1832), amateur mathematician and physicist who formed a large collection of scientific instruments, with his shelfmark label at head of spine.
❧ En Français dans le Texte 147. Printing & the Mind of Man 195. Roberts & Trent, Bibliotheca Mechanica, p. 7–“A landmark in the history of mechanics.”.
Item ID: 6377