Mathematical Elements of Natural Philosophy, Confirm'd by Experiments: Or, an Introduction to Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy. Written in Latin by the late W. James s'Gravesande. Translated into English by J. T. Desaguliers. The Sixth Edition greatly improved by the author.
by [NEWTON, Isaac (1643-1727)] 'sGRAVESANDE, Willem Jacob (1688-1742).
London:: Printed by W. Innys, T. Longman and T. Shewell, C. Hitch, and M. Senex, 1747., 1747. 2 volumes. 4to. , lxxv, , 475, ; [ii], 389,  pp. Original full calf, raised bands, calf gilt-stamped red & brown spine labels; joints cracked. Small rubberstamp on title. Very good. NICE CLEAN COPY. Sixth edition, "greatly improved by the author," of 'sGravedande's extensive experimentation and instruction in Newtonian physics. The experiments range from basic physics, to hydraulics, optics, electricity and astronomy. The entire work is profusely illustrated with folding engraved plates detailing, among many other experiments and apparatuses, a steam-powered Hero's Engine (plate 78), a static electricity generator (plate 79), the first magic lantern slide projector (plate 109), the prismatic effect of a rainbow (plate 120) and the known solar system (plate 122). 'sGravesande "is the author of Elements de physique demonstres mathematiquement. . . ou introduction a la philosophie Newtonienne which was translated from the Latin and published at Leyden in 1746. In the second volume, he gives a description of an electrical machine constructed on the plan of that of Hauksbee. It consisted merely of a crystal globe, which was mounted upon a copper stand, and against which was pressed the hand of the operator while it was made to revolve rapidly by means of a large wheel." [Mottelay]. / Willem Jacob 'sGravesande was a Dutch philosopher and mathematician. Born in 's-Hertogenbosch, he studied law in Leiden, and wrote a thesis on suicide. In 1715 he visited London and King George I. He became a member of the Royal Society. In 1717 he became professor in physics and astronomy in Leiden, and introduced the works of his friend Newton in the Netherlands. He was ardently opposed to fatalists like Hobbes and Spinoza. In 1724 Peter the Great offered him a job in Saint Petersburg, but 'sGravesande did not accept. His best remembered work is Physices elementa mathematica, experimentis confirmata, sive introductio ad philosophiam Newtonianam or Mathematical Elements of Natural Philosophy, Confirm'd by Experiments (Leiden 1720), in which he laid the foundations for teaching Newtonian physics. / 'sGravesande's chief original contribution to physics involved an experiment in which brass balls are dropped with varying velocity onto a soft clay surface. This demonstrated that a ball with twice the velocity of another would leave an indentation four times as deep, that three times the velocity yielded nine times the depth, and so on. He shared these results with Emilie du Châtelet, who subsequently corrected Newton's formula E = mv to E = mv^2. / 'sGravesande was also the owner of the oldest known magic lantern, which was built around 1720 by Jan van Musschenbroek, and is currently housed at the Museum Booerhave in Leiden. / "From the outset of his teaching both physics and astronomy 'sGravesande modeled his lectures on the example of Newton in the Principia and Opticks, although in later years they incorporated other influences, especially that of Boerhaave. Moreover, he adopted from Keill and Desaguliers the notion of demonstrating to his classes the experimental proof of scientific principles, accumulating an ever larger collection of apparatus, as may be seen from successive editions of his Physics elementa mathematica, experimentis confirmata. Sive, introductio ad philosophiam Newtonianam (Leiden, 1720, 1721). The scientific reputation of 'sGravesande is enshrined in this book, which he constantly corrected and amplified in later editions. An 'official' English translation prepared by Desaguliers (to whom copies of the Latin original were sent in haste) was also issued in 1720 and 1721, and it passed through six editions. (The booksellers Mears and Woodward printed a rival version under the name of John Keill.) French translations appeared only in 1746 and 1747, but a critical review by L. B. Castel was published in the Memoires de Trevoux in May and October 1721. The book was at once welcomed by British and a number of German scholars." – DSB V, p. 510. References: Babson 70; Mottelay p. 181.
(Inventory #: SW1580)
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