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Abrikosov, A(lexi) A. Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963. 1st English. Very fine condition. Fine dust jacket. Alexi A. Abrikosov received the Nobel for physics in 2003; this is a glorious copy of his important book. $135
Aharoni, J.. The Special Theory of Relativity. Oxford, 1959. 1st edition. 8vo. Blue cloth. Fine condition. Fine dust jacket. Fine copy in the scarce dustjscket. $100
Akhiezer, A.I.. Quantum Electrodynamics. New York: John WIley, Interscience, 1965. Revised. 868pp 8vo. Cloth. Fine condition. Fine dust jacket. $100
Alt, Franz. “Bell Telephone Laboratories Computing Machine–I+II.” Washington DC: National Research Council, 1948. 1st edition. Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation, III/21 Original printed wrappers. Very good condition. $750.00
We offer the two issues of MTAC, with the complete article by Dr. Alt occupying pp 1-13 and 69-84. SCARCE.
“Between 1937 and 1946 engineers and scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories built a number of digital relay computers, among the first working programmable machines anywhere. Their experience with the technology of switching-that second aspect of telephony-was the basis for Bell’s entry into digital computing. But the first aspect-the transmission of analog voice signals-played a role too, as we shall see. The invention of the computer at Bell Laboratories, like its invention elsewhere, resulted from a convergence of technical skill, social need, and talent. Those preconditions were there by the mid-1930′s. It remained for one of Bell’s employees, Dr. George Stibitz, to serve as the catalyst to bring them together.” Reckoners, Bell Labs, page 0074
On Franz Alt:
Dr. Franz L. Alt (born 1910 in Vienna, Austria and who lived to be 101 years old) was an Austrian born American mathematician who made major contributions to computer science in its early days. Franz Alt grew up in Austria and received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Vienna in 1932, researching set-theoretic topology and logical foundations of geometry. He left Austria for the United States after the 1938 Anschluss. An avid skier, he served in the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division during World War II reaching the rank of Second Lieutenant. After the war, he worked on the ENIAC and other Army computing projects; later he worked in the Computing Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards, and eventually at the American Institute of Physics. He is best known as one of the founders of the Association for Computing Machinery, having served as its president from 1950 to 1952; he also wrote one of the first books on digital computers, Electronic Digital Computers (Academic Press, 1958).
Ashby, W. Ross. Introduction to Cybernetics. Chapman & Hall, London, 1956. First edition, review copy (with the review slip laid in). 295pp (though there is an interesting and maybe-not-very-useful pagination besides the standard one). Cloth. This is a fine copy in a fine dust jacket. (Original owner’s inscription on the front free end paper.) $250
In a sense, this is one of the only true early textbooks on cybernetics and systems theory. The math presented is pretty basic, although it is enough to direct the reader to some fairly high thought planes. It is an elegant work.
Bardeen, J. Physical Principles Involved in Transistor Action. Lancaster, Pa: Physical Review, 1949. 1st edition, Vol 75, Second Series, No. 8 Printed wrappers. Fine condition. This is the entire green-wrappered issue for April 15, 1949; work for which Bardeen shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1972. Save for a little wear and a pinhole in the spine, this is a fine (+) copy–really a nice, bright copy of a significant and important paper by Bardeen and Brattain. [Sold]
Barut, A.O.. Electrodynamics and Classical Theory of Fields and Particles. Macmillan, 1964. 1st printing. 8vo. Cloth. Fine condition. Dust jacket. $100
(Bell, Alexander G.) The Scientific American, 1876. We offer the entire volume, sumptuously illsutrated with all manner of technical objects, in two parts (bound in one volume), 414+414pp each. Very fresh copy, bound in black l;ibrary cloth. Very good copy. $950
Besides it being the Centennial year, 1876 saw a number of major games in the history of human thinking. Sometimes the announcements or earliest public appearances of these breakthroughs didn’t get all that much attention. As one of the major means of transferring technical and applied science info to teh general public, it is interesting to see how Scientific American reacted to such innovations. For the thick, heavy volume for 1876, amid
patent announcements and articles on telegraphic fire alarms, electro-harmonic multiplex telegraphs, recording telegraphs, electro-magnetic telegraph railroad car signals, signal box telegraphs, underground telegraphs, telegraph keys and armature, acoustic telegraphs and the l;ike (though there weren’t that many reported, not really, just on the order of dozens), we find one of the most important of them all, patent # 174,465, by Alexander Graham Bell, appearing 8 April 1876. It would be a rude resumption of being here in the future of this event to call the coverage short-sighted
In an earlier article in the 4 March 1876 issue of SA, there appeared “The Invention of the Telephone”, by P.H. Vander Weyde, in which there is yet any mention of Mr. Bell. There is an illustration of one of his precursors in the field, the Reuss telephone, with ample description. (This was actually Philipp Reiss, and his telephone really wouldn’t work to transmit the human voice, though did so work for music to some degree.) Bell’s patent would be at the Patent Office in March, and would appear as a one-line notice (among a hundred others), the patent stating it was “the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically … by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound”. (The first image above is a detail; the second image a longer version, which is really only less than half of what the real-life version looks like in the tall listing.)
Weeks later, Elisha Gray‘s (on 13 May) telegraphic telephone patent (175071) appears in the Scientific American, and later, on 9 September, on page 163, there is the article “The Human Voice Transmitted by Telegraph”, on the successful transmission by Graham Bell.
Admittedly there were a number of developments in the production of the speaking telephone at this time, though in general there seems to have been no great attention paid them in the pages of the Scientific American than pipe cutting machine improvements or improved gravel separators. Obviously the great impact of the invention was yet to be appreciated, even in any sort of fictional way.
(Bell) Munro, J.. Telephones and other Applications of Electricity. London: Nature, 1876. 1st edition. Nature, an Illustrated Weekly…, 24 August 1876 Royal 8vo. Original printed wrappers. We offer the entire weekly issue complete with its scarce outer wrappers, cleanly removed from a larger bound volume. $250
Munro (who would go on to write an early and authoritative work on the history of the telephone (Heroes of the Telegraph) reviews the advancements made in the invention–still, as earlier, not mentioning Bell at all, and still championing the priority of Elisha Gray. It was at about this very time in the autumn of 1876 that William Thomson first presents the telephone to European ears. Munro waxes a bit about the use of the telephone, still identifying it as a musical device, not discussing its possibilities as a speaking instrument–this is precisely what Thomson does, and forcibly so, after hearing it function in the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, referring to the telephone as the perfect advancement of the telegraph (and also referring to it as a “speaking telegraph”.) But Munro continues on with the telephone’s musical virtuosity. “There is a possibility here, we must admit, of a curious use of electricity. When we are going to a dancing party there will be no need to provide a musician”, as the dancers will be able to pay their electrician for the privilege of getting their piano via wire.
Bell, Alexander Graham. The Photophone: 3 articles from the journal Nature, 1880.
London: 1880-1881. Nature: Nov 4 & 18, 1880; February 10, 1881 Original printed wrappers. Fine condition.
We offer the following three issues of Nature covering the initial announcenments of Bell’s future-provoking invention of the PHOTOPHONE: (1) Bell’s Photophone, pp 15-19, with illustrations of the apparatus, running approximately 3000 words. (2) Shelford Bidwell, “Bell’s Photophone”, in 18 November 1880, pp 58-9, approximately 1750 words. (3) “Photophone Experiments”, in 10 February 1881, page 354, approximately 400 words, two illustrations. These are among the earliest articles on Bell’s fantastic invention utilizing his discovery of the photoacoustic effect–basically, transmitting wireless telephone conversations, a feat that would not be utilized until the last two decades of the 10th century. /// We offer the three issues in their original wrappers, cleanly removed from a larger bound volume with only trace elements of the removal visible at their spines. Nice copies. $300
Bell believed that the photophone–developed most fully in his Volta Street lab, which was just three blocks away from where my store stood for nine years–as a machine that transmitted speech on light rays, was by far his most important invention.
Shockley, WIlliam. Holes and Electrons. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1950. 1st edition. Physics Today, vol 3 number 10 Pp 16-25 Royal 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Fine condition. This is the original wrappers edition of Physics Today (Vol 3 Number 10, October 1950) PRECEDING PUBLICATION of Shockley’s book “Electrons and Holes in Semiconductors, with Applications to Transistor Electronics”. The paper “presents in simplified form a portion of the author’s book…which is planned for publication…” The Shockley article occupies pp 16-25 of this 40pp publication. From the library of David Katcher, founding editor of “Physics Today”. This is a fine, crisp copy of this publication–a nicer copy would be hard to imagine. (Book ID 22740)$950.00