Oxford:: Clarendon Press, 1947., 1947. 8vo. xii, 401,  pp. Index, p. 290 has a tipped-in printed addenda to the text. Original navy gilt-stamped cloth. WARMLY INCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR to Charles Strachan, 8 June 1951. First edition of the first book on Mathieu functions and Spheroidal functions. McLachlan is also famous for his pioneering work on loud speakers, issued in 1925. Born in Britain, after WWII he found work teaching at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, then briefly at the University of Michigan before landing at Brown University, both teaching this subject. PROVENANCE: Charles Strachan (1907-1993), Scottish mathematician and physicist, Reader at the University of Aberdeen, he mentored Sir George Paget Thomson FRS (1892-1975), the son of J.J. Thomson, who earned the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1937 for his discovery of the wave properties of the electron by electron diffraction. "Quantum ideas were being shaped into a mathematical theory which could be applied to a vast range of hitherto intractable problems. Charles Strachan was to be among the young mathematical physicists who seized on the opportunities thus offered. He duly completed his undergraduate work in Aberdeen with a First Class Honours degree. At that time it was standard practice in Scottish universities for the best graduates aiming at an academic career to read for a further undergraduate degree at Oxford or Cambridge. G P Thomson arranged for him to go to Thomson's former Cambridge College (Corpus Christi), where he undertook an accelerated tripos, attending courses by such great names in relativity and quantum theory as Eddington and Dirac. Charles Strachan achieved the distinction of becoming Junior Wrangler. He then embarked on research at Cambridge, first under R H Fowler and then under J E Lennard Jones, and was awarded a Cambridge PhD in 1935. Prominent among his pre-war researches were investigations, the earliest in collaboration with Lennard Jones, of the interaction of atoms and molecules with solid surfaces. These papers brought out some important quantum effects in the behaviour of systems of many atoms and presented mathematical procedures which made possible the application of quantum mechanics to the quantitative treatment of these effects. They represented significant early contributions not only to surface physics but more generally to aspects of solid state physics which are still the subject of extensive investigation. Part of this work was done at Aberdeen, where he held an assistantship and then a lectureship between 1933 and 1937. In 1937 he was invited by Professor Max Born to take up a temporary lectureship for one year in his Department in Edinburgh and he clearly decided that the opportunity of working with this very great theoretical physicist could not be missed." – C. W. McCombie. See: J. Meixner, F.W. Schafke, G. Wolf, Mathieu Functions and Spheroidal Functions and their Mathematical Foundations, Springer, 1980.
(Inventory #: S13227)
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