Discourses to the Royal Institution


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FARADAY, Michael. Discourse to the Royal Institution. Eight offprints. WITH: Memorial to Faraday. London: Royal Institution, 1852-1861, 1869. Octavo, original paper wrappers. Housed in a custom clamshell box.

Eight offprints of Faraday's original discourses on electric and magnetic principles.

In 1826, Faraday instituted the Friday Evening Discourses to the Royal Institution of Great Britain, designed to aid in the dissemination of scientific information to a wider audience. Since 1851, these discourses have been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Institution, many being subsequently published in book form. The offprints of these original discourses, however, produced in limited numbers for the use of members, take precedence and are somewhat scarce. These offprints of Faraday's lecture series explain, most notably, his theory of diamagnetism, whereby all bodies of matter are affected by magnetic force, some by concentrating lines of force through them, and others (diamagnetics), by diverging the lines of magnetic force passing through them. By rejecting the polar theories of his contemporaries, Faraday concluded that the manifestation of magnetic force took place in the medium surrounding the magnet, the magnetic field, not in the magnet itself. This, and its extension to electrical and gravitational systems, became the fundamental axiom of classic field theory. With a memorial to Faraday including reflections by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, Sir Henry Holland, Professor Richard Owens, Dr. Henry Bence Jones, and Dr. John Tyndall. DSB 4, 539.

Only very minor edgewear. Near-fine condition.

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