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De viribus vivis dissertatio. Rome: Komarek - BOSCOVICH, Rudjer Josip - 1745. [1271105]
Komarek for Monaldini; Salomon for Monaldini; A. de Rubeis 1745-1755, Rome - First editions of three very rare works by the great Croatian scientist Roger Boscovich (1711-87), including De viribus, which contains the first published statement of Boscovich?s universal force law, the basis of his atomic theory of matter, and which prefigures much of his masterpiece Philosophiae Naturalis Theoria Redacta ad Unicam Legem Virium in Natura Existentium (1758). ?The ?Theory of Natural Philosophy? is now recognized as having exerted a fundamental influence on modern mathematical physics ? As the title of his book implies, he considered that a single law was the basis of all natural phenomena and of the properties of matter; that the multiplicity of physical forces was only apparent and due to inadequate mathematical knowledge? (PMM). ?In spite of his important contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and optics, today Boscovich is best known for a unified theory of matter based on the hypothesis of point atoms governed by a universal law of force. The basic features of this remarkable theory go back to a treatise of 1745, De viribus vivis? (Kragh, p. 19). ?The fundamental features of his theory on indivisible points and the unique law of forces were first published by Boscovich in 1745 in a dissertation entitled De viribus vivis ? Further developments of his theory were published in De continuitatis lege, 1754, then in De lege virium in natura existentium, 1755? (Markovi , p. 129). ?A natural philosopher, mathematician, physicist, astronomer, geodesist, engineer, and poet, Boscovich was, in the words of the physicist John Henry Poynting, ?amongst the boldest minds humanity has produced.? Boscovich published about one hundred books and papers, most of them in Latin ? The French astronomer Joseph Jérôme Le Français de Lalande said that in each of these works there are ideas worthy of a man of genius? (Whyte in Encyclopedia of Philosophy). In 1958, Werner Heisenberg wrote: ?Boscovich?s work contains numerous ideas that have found their deserved place only in the modern physics of the past 50 years.? ABPC/RBH list only one copy of De viribus, one of De lege and three of De lentibus. COPAC lists no copy of De viribus, two of De lege and four of De lentibus; first two works not in BL.Provenance: From the library of the mathematician and bibliographer Pietro Riccardi (1828-98) with his book ticket and with shelf-mark pasted on front flyleaf; later in the collection of Dr. Pedro N. Arata (1867-1920), professor of chemistry at Buenos Aires University, with his stamp in blank margins of titles.?[Boscovich?s] heterodoxy in mechanics began to be apparent at least as early as 1745, when he published an important discourse on the subject of living force (vis viva) [i.e., De viribus vivis] ? This discourse contained the first statement of Boscovich?s universal force law.?That law was inspired partly by Leibniz?s law of continuity and partly by the famous thirty-first query with which Newton concluded the fourth edition of his Opticks. There Newton raised speculatively the question whether there might not exist both attractive and repulsive forces alternately operative between the particles of matter. From this idea Boscovich proceeded by way of an analysis of collision of bodies to the enunciation of a ?universal law of forces? between elements of matter, the force being alternately attractive or repulsive, depending upon the distance by which they are separated. As that distance diminishes toward zero, repulsion predominates and grows infinite so as to render direct contact between particles impossible. A fundamental role is played by the points of equilibrium between the attractive and repulsive forces. Boscovich called such points ?boundaries? (limes, the Latin singular). Some of them are points of stable equilibrium for the particles in them and others are points of unstable equilibrium. The behavior of these boundaries and the areas between them enabled Boscovich to interpret cohesion, impenetrability, extension, and man [Attributes: First Edition]
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Last Found On: 2016-11-24           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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