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Soprotivljenije vozdukha i vozdykhoplavanije. Ottisk iz schurnala "Hayzsnoje Obozrenije" (Russian). (Air Resistance and Aeronautics [or Air Resistance and Flight in Air]. Offprint from the Magazine "Scientific Review").
Kaluga, 1902 (colophon stating 1902, wrapper stating 1903). 8vo (23,5 x 15 cm). Uncut in the orig. printed blue-green wrappers. Professionally resored at corners. Internally brownspotted. Well-preserved copy. 22 pp. (= pp. 1-22).. Exceedingly rare first edition, offprint issue. It was printed as an article in "Scientific Review" and an offprint was made, no other issues appeared, thus these wrappers must be the original, even though they state 1903 and the colophon 1902. As it was printed at Tsiolkovski's own expenses and he did not have much money, it is likely that he had the wrappers for the offprint printed the following year. A work of great rarity; all his subsequent works on this topic (aerodynamics) belong to the Soviet period. Tsiolkovski created one of the world's first wind-tunnels ("vaned blower"). "In 1897 he constructed a wind tunnel, the first in Russia to be used in aviation." (D.S.B. XIII: 483). He experimented with it every day for more than four years. From these experiments he "was able to determine with remarkable accuracy such a small quantity as, for example, the air friction on the surface of a model and to establish the fundamental laws by which it is governed." (Collected Works, 1951, I: pp. 8-9). Having the modest salary of a teacher, these experiments cost him most of his money, and he tried to raise money for his experiment through the Russian Academy of Sciences. The examiner of the project, M.A. Rykachev, found it very interesting and of great importance, and for the fist time Tsiolkovski was granted money to continue his experiments (470 rubles); he spent all the money on building an even larger wind-tunnel. The results of these seminal experiments were published for the first time in this exceedingly rare article from 1902. To his disappointment he was granted no more funds and as suspicion from the other scientists and the tsar-regime rose towards him, the fundamental results attained in this work remained unacknowledged by the official scientific circles. As Tsiolkovski in 1919 became a member of the Socialist Academy (later cooperated in the USSR Academy of Science), recognition and money enabled him to publish a much larger quantity of articles and books than he had done before. Everything by T. published before 1918 was paid for by himself; his modest salary only allowed him to pay for few copies of each work, and four times as many of his articles, booklets and books were published after 1918 as in all the years before; each one after 1918 was likewise issued in a much greater number. "During a period of 26 years before the revolution his publications numbered less than 50." (Collected Works, NASA, 1951, I; p. X). This together with the fact that his work was not recognized and his experiments discredited means that probably very few copies were preserved. His early works are thus of the greatest rarity. "Like all the pre-1918 papers by Tsiolkovsky, which were printed on his own expense in very small numbers only, that virtually have disappeared and the re-occurrence of one of them ...is very remarkable." (Catalogue 282, Interlibrum Vaduz). Tsiolkovski was a pioneer in the field of experimental aerodynamics; by, among other things, building one of the world's first wind-tunnels, he derived a number of highly important laws of aerodynamics. There is no doubt that T. is one of the founders of modern aerodynamics. The father of modern rocketry, Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovski (1857-1935), is probably most widely known for his works on rocket propulsion, however his contributions to several fields of science have been immense and of exceedingly seminal character. Deafened at the age of nine and as a consequence thereof unable to go to school, he was forced to learn everything on his own accord. His father, a forester, was fond of scientific experiments, and though not wealthy, he had books on science and natural history. Tsiolkovski began by reading all books he could find on these subjects and as a consequence was able to construct quite complicated devices for measuring distances and many other things. Having seen how gifted his son was, his father sent him to Moscow, where Tsiolkovski spend all three years in libraries, receiving no teaching but his own, but still succeeding in taking a degree in physics from the university. T. can thus be seen as a purely self-taught man. After Moscow he settled in the small city of Borovskoye, where he taught physics at a school, spending all of his spare time conducting experiments and writing about them. He devoted his intellect mainly to three scientific problems of the greatest importance at the time: The aeroplane, the (long-range) rocket and the all metal dirigible. Self-taught as he was and unable to come in touch with new publications in his fields of interest, he began with nothing and made all necessary calculations himself. Calculations and experiments were always at the base of his scientific works, and no conclusions were derived from intuition and guesswork. He was the first in the world to solve numerous problems concerning his three main interests, but unable to be recognized by the tsar-regime and considered, at best, a dreamer and a utopian, the struggle for his inventions was long and hard. Aged 24 he was the first in the world to formulate the possibility of applying the principle of reactive motion for flight in a vacuum, thus presenting a simple plan for a spaceship. He established the possibility of space travel by means of rockets, and is thus called the father of rocketry. He is also called the father of the all-metal dirigible. He is the first to propose and state that liquid fuel is necessary for spaceflight. He was the first in the world to make calculations for the air-jet and turbo-prop-planes, and it is in his works we find the most complete elaboration of the theory of rocket propulsion for many years to come. "In his works on rocket dynamics Tsiolkovsky, the first in the history of science, calculated the efficiency of the rocket and pointed out the advantages of rocket motors at high velocities." (Kosmodemyansky, Moscow, 1956, p. 69). T. saw it as a necessary step for mankind to explore and inhabit outer space and nothing could prevent him from working on the possibilities of this; in short, among many other things, we owe to him the fundamental principles of rocket dynamics.After the Revolution T. became a member of the Academy, was allotted a personal pension in 1921, and was finally able to devote himself entirely to his scientific work. Now his contemporaries finally saw him as the founder of a new domain of human knowledge, a new science, he was, and he was awarded the Red Banner of Labour Order for outstanding services to his country
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Last Found On: 2013-01-01           Check availability:      Antikvariat    

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