Harmonices Mundi Libri V
by KEPLER, JohannesPrice: $235,000.00
- Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.
- Seller Inventory #: HillBibl-3018
- Binding: Hardcover
Five engraved plates & numerous woodcut diagrams & illus. in the text. 4 p.l., 66 (i.e. 64), 255 pp. Folio, cont. vellum over boards (binding a little warped, bottom corner of lower cover a little worn, occasional browning but rather less than usual), ties gone. Linz: J. Planck for G. Tampach, 1619. First edition, first issue, and a fine copy of this great book. Copies of the first issue are distinctly rare. This epochal work contains Kepler's discovery of the third law of planetary motion. Kepler regarded this work as his crowning achievement in elucidating the harmonic regularities of the universe. It was Kepler's three laws which formed the basis of Newton's principle of universal gravitation. "In the Mysterium cosmographicum the young Kepler had been satisfied with the rather approximate planetary spacings predicted by his nested polyhedrons and spheres; now [in 1619], imbued with a new respect for data, he could no longer dismiss its 5 percent error. In the astronomical book V of the Harmonice mundi, he came to grips with this central problem: By what secondary principles did God adjust the original archetypal model based on the regular solids?... "In the course of this investigation, Kepler hit upon the relation now called his third or harmonic law: The ratio that exists between the periodic times of any two planets is precisely the ratio of the 3/2 power of the mean distances...the law gave him great pleasure, for it so neatly linked the planetary distances with their velocities or periods, thus fortifying the a priori premises of the Mysterium and the Harmonice."-D.S.B., VII, pp. 301-02. An attractive copy in a contemporary binding. Two cm. strip at head of title clipped away and renewed at an early date, small rectangle (2.5 x 1.5 cm.) of blank portion of title renewed at a more recent date, and two small burn holes in title caused by an ink inscription. Several early inscriptions on title including: "auctori damnari et operis cum expurgat neo permissi." ❧ Caspar 58. Dibner, Heralds of Science, 6. Gingerich, Rara Astronomica, 33. Horblit 58. Printing & the Mind of Man 112. Sparrow, Milestones of Science, 115. .
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