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On certain Physical Properties of Light produced by the Combustion of Different Metals in an Electric Spark Refracted by a Prism," in American Journal of Science and Arts, Vol. XVIII, November 1854, pp. 55-57
FIRST EDITION OF A SEMINAL PAPER by David Alter announcing the invention of spectral analysis, the revolutionary idea that every element has its own emission spectrum. A critical development in spectroscopy, Alter studied atomic spectra, the light given off by elements when heated to incandescence, and then used them as a method of chemical analysis. Alter includes a table "of the seven Newtonian colors and listed twelve chemical elements. In the resulting 84 spaces he entered up to four vertical lines for the number of prominent spectral lines or bands (effectively somewhat like Roman numerals). So in a sense he simply counted how many such lines there were per color region for each spectrum. CONDITION & DETAILS: New Haven: G. P. Putnam & Co. 2nd Series, Volume XVIII, November, 1854. Ex-libris bearing a small stamp on the front flyleaf and another on the title page. Volume includes 7 plates. Bound in black cloth, bilt-lettered at the spine. Slight remnants from the removal of a spine label, professionally inked black so as to make them nearly invisible. Binding is tight and very solid, evidencing wear. The interior is in near fine condition.
      [Bookseller: Atticus Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-15           Check availability:      Biblio    

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