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2019-11-06 08:57:59
GIBBS, Josiah Willard.
Elements of Vector Analysis. [Offered with:] Autograph letter from Gibbs to John Monroe Van Vleck.
New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1881. First edition, first issue (see below), of this extremely rare pamphlet which "marks the beginning of modern vector analysis" (Crowe, p. 150). "Nearly all branches of classical physics and many areas of modern physics are now presented in the language of vectors, and the benefits derived thereby are many. Vector analysis has likewise proved a valuable aid for many problems in engineering, astronomy and geometry" (ibid. p. v). The genesis of the present work was described in Gibbs's own words in an 1888 letter to Victor Schlegel: "My first acquaintance with quaternions was in reading Maxwell's E & M [i.e. Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, 1873] where quaternion notations are considerably used. I became convinced that to master those subjects, it was necessary for me to commence by mastering those methods. At the same time I saw, that although the methods were called quaternionic the idea of the quaternion was quite foreign to the subject. In regard to the product of vectors, I saw that there were two important functions (or products) called the vector part & the scalar part of the product, but that the union of the two to form what was called the (whole) product did not advance the theory as an instrument of geom[etric] investigation. Again with respect to the operator as applied to a vector I saw that the vector part & the scalar part of the result represented important operations, but their union (generally to be separated afterwards) did not seem a valuable idea ... I therefore began to work out ab initio, the algebra of t … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: SOPHIA RARE BOOKS [Denmark]

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