Catalogue Number: 85
Helmholtz's treatise on physiological optics Volume II The sensations of vision
Sub-Category: Book of historical note
Author: HELMHOLTZ, Hermann von (Translated by JC Southall.)
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1925
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Wisconsin
Publisher/Manufacturer: Optical Society of America
Description Of Item: The volume is in original green cloth hardcover 270 x 190 mm with 479 pages. It is the English translation of the original 3rd edition in German published in 1911. It covers the stimulation of the organ of vision, stimulation by light, simple (spectral) colours, compound colours (colour mixtures and complementary colours), photometry, Fechner's law, persistent visual effects, after images, contrast and subjective visual phenomena. There are appendices by W Nagel and vKries and a new Chapter written for this English translation by Christine Ladd-Franklin to which is added a 1911 - 1920 bibliography. There is a corrigenda to Volume I.
Historical Significance: Herman von Helmholtz (1821 - 1894) is a towering figure in vision science. He qualified in medicine at the Berlin Medical Institute in1843 and began researching while on military service as a physician in Potsdam. By 1858 he was Professor of Anatomy & Physiology in Bonn and after professorial appointments in Konigsberg & Heildelberg became Professor of Physics in Berlin in 1871. He is best known for his work on mathematical physics and acoustics but he is also the father of vision science. See cat No 84 and 86 for vols 1 and 3. James P. C. Southall (1871- ?) was a physicist with a special interest in optics. He taught physics at a number of USA universities before joining Columbia University in 1914, where he served until his retirement in 1940. His specialties were geometrical optics and physiological optics. He wrote Principles of Geometrical Optics in 1910 and Mirrors, Prisms and Lenses (1918, rev. eds. 1923, 1934). He is probably best known as editor of the American English language edition of Helmholtz's Physiological Optics published in 3 volumes 1924-25. Cat No 84. 85, 86. He also wrote Introduction to Physiological Optics (1941). He wrote many papers, a number of which appeared in JOSA, on optical illusions and geometrical optics. He served as president of the Optical Society of America in 1921.
How Acquired: Ex Nathan Library
Location: Archive room. East wall. Books of historical note. Folios