Catalogue Number: 84
Helmholtz's Treatise on Physiological Optics Volume 1
Sub-Category: Book of historical note
Author: HELMHOLTZ, Hermann von (Translated by J P Southall)
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1924
Edition: 3rd (English trans)
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. This is an English translation of the posthumous third edition of Helmholtz's "Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik" published in 1909. The first edition was fully published in 1866 when Helmholtz was at Heidelberg but the first section of the first edition appeared in 1856 and the second in 1860. The third edition was greatly enlarged by Nagel, Gullstrand and vKries. This edition covers ocular anatomy and the dioptrics of the eye including a section on the ophthalmoscope. There are 6 appendices by A Gullstrand.
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 85 and 86 for vols 2 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