Mecanique Celeste (5 volume set)

Mecanique Celeste (5 volume set)

Pierre Simon Laplace, marquis de; Nathaniel Bowditch

Boston: Isaac R. Butts for Hilliard, Gray, Little and Wilkins, 1829

[Traite de Mecanique Celeste : A foundational work in celestial mechanics]  5 volume complete set (4 volumes + appendix to volume 3).  Boston, printed 1829, 1832, 1834, 1839.  First English Edition, translated by Nathaniel Bowditch, limited to 250 copies.  First four volumes rebound in modern cloth.  Printed paper spine titles.   Pages are remarkably clean, white and unmarked. 3 engraved portraits; numerous tables.  Methods of Computing the Orbit of a Comet or Planet bound in contemporary cloth over marbled boards. 
Laplace codified and developed the theories and achievements of Newton, Euler, d'Alembert, and Lagrange. He showed that the universe was really a great self-regulating machine and the whole solar system could continue on its existing plan for an immense period of time.  Bowditch (1773-1838), undertook the translation of Laplace's great book in order to supply steps omitted from the original text, incorporate later results into the translation, make the text more accessible, and to give credit omitted by Laplace. Bowdtich's work significantly increased Laplace's work, more than doubling its size. "Outside of France, particularly in English-speaking countries, Bowditch's edition, rather than the original, was often the means of learning about the mechanics of the heavens." D.S.B., II, p. 368.  "This translation ... had a threefold purpose: to supply steps omitted from the original text, to incorporate later results, and to give credits omitted by Laplace. Although generally more admired than read, outside of France it was this edition, rather than the original, that was most often the means of learning about the mechanics of the heavens" (Bibliotheca Mechanica, 198 p.) "It would be difficult to overestimate the value of Bowditch's translation and commentary to American physical astronomy during the first half of the nineteenth century. The work marked the beginning of American participation in the field of celestial mechanics" (ANB). Shaw & Shoemaker 39247. Grolier/Horblitt 63 (citing the 1st ed, Paris [1798-1827); Printing and the Mind of Man 252n.

Contents: Vol. I. First book. On the general laws of equilibrium and motion; Second book. On the law of universal gravitation, and the motions of the centres of gravity of the heavenly bodies. Vol. II. Third book. On the figures of the heavenly bodies; Fourth book. On the oscillations of the sea and atmosphere; Fifth book. On the motions of the heavenly bodies about their own centres of gravity. Vol. III. Sixth book. Theory of the planetary motions; Seventh book. Theory of the moon; Vol. IV. Eighth book. Theory of the satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus; Ninth book. Theory of comets; Tenth book. On several subjects relative to the system of the world; First supplement by the author. Of the subjects treated of in the theory of the capillary attraction; Second supplement by the author. Of the subjects contained in the supplement to the theory of capillary attraction.

  • Product Code: 1909170002
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