Four folding engraved plates. xxxviii, , 184 pp. 4to, cont. mottled calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: David l’aîné, 1749.
First edition of one of Alembert’s most important books. “During the late 1740’s, d’Alembert, Clairaut, and Euler were all working on the famous three-body problem, with varying success. D’Alembert’s interest in celestial mechanics thus led him, in 1749, to publish a masterly work, the Recherches sur la Précession des Equinoxes…The precession of the equinoxes, a problem previously attacked by Clairaut, was very difficult. D’Alembert’s method was similar to Clairaut’s but he employed more terms in his integration of the equation of motion and arrived at a solution more in accord with the observed motion of the earth. He was rightly proud of his book.”–D.S.B., I, p. 113.
A very fine copy and scarce on the market. 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.
❧ Babson 36.
Item ID: 6379