“Of all the scientific journals in the world, the single most sought-after collector's item by far is the Annalen der Physik, volume XVII, for 1905, for... Einstein published not one, but three papers in the journal, causing 1905 to be dubbed the annus mirabilis of science." -Watson, The Modern Mind
FIRST PRINTINGS WITH EXTREMELY RARE ORIGINAL WRAPPERS of Einstein's revolutionary papers of 1905 including the first edition of the initial paper on special relativity; three of the most important papers in the history of science. Beautiful, clean copies without any institutional stamps.
In the first paper ("On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light"), published in March, "Einstein postulated that light is composed of individual quanta (later called photons) that, in addition to wavelike behaviour, demonstrate certain properties unique to particles. In a single stroke he thus revolutionized the theory of light and provided an explanation for, among other phenomena, the emission of electrons from some solids when struck by light, called the photoelectric effect" (Britannica). It was for this paper on the photoelectric effect that Einstein was granted the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921. The next paper ("On the Motion—Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat—of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid"), published in May, provided a theoretical explanation of Brownian motion. It is generally regarded as the first proof that molecules exist.
Although the first two papers were of astonishing originality and importance, it was the third paper, introducing what would be later known as Einstein's special theory of relativity, that would make him famous. "Toward the end of June it was all written up, and on June 30 receipt of the manuscript was recorded at the editorial office of Annalen in Berlin. The thirty-page article, published three months later, was titled 'On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies'. It was a treatise beyond compare and without precedent, one of the greatest scientific achievements in content and one of the most brilliant in style. Of course, there were later additions, some from Einstein himself and some from others, but these were mere addenda to a theory which had appeared before all the world ready and complete, valid for all time" (Folsing, Albert Einstein). Einstein's theory, with the premise that "if, for all frames of reference, the speed of light is constant and if all natural laws are the same, then both time and motion are found to be relative to the observer," "involved a complete rethinking of the entire conceptual tradition of modern physics from its beginning" (Britannica; Folsing). Weil *6. Weil *8. Weil *9. Grolier/Horblit 26b.
Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Korper, in Annalen der Physik, Vierte Folge, Volume 17, part 10, pp. 891-921; WITH: Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt, ibid, part 6, pp. 132-148. WITH: Über die von der molekularkinetischen Theorie der Warme geforderte Bewegung von in ruhenden Flussigkeiten suspendierten Teilchen, ibid, part 8, pp. 549-560. Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1905. Octavo, three issues in original wrappers rebacked; three custom boxes. Note: The issues are slightly trimmed, indicating that it is likely they were originally bound (with the wrappers) and then re-assembled. With general title page, volume half-title, and index included in part 6. Some chipping to exceedingly rare and brittle original wrappers; otherwise fine. Extremely rare in such outstanding condition.