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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • The Theory of Atomic Collisions – Mott and Massey (Professor Westfold’s Copy) – First edition 1933

    The Theory of Atomic Collisions – Mott and Massey (Professor Westfold’s Copy) – First edition 1933

    A first UK edition, published at Oxford by the Clarendon Press in 1933. The standard full text of the period.

    Large octavo, 282 pages. Original black cloth covered boards with gilt titles to spine. Dust jacket rather drab and aged but unusually present. The signature of K. C. Westfold and dated October 44 on the front free end paper.

    Comprehensive high level text starting with The Wave Equation then Scattering – by a Centre Force, by a Coulomb Field. The Spin of the Electron. Collisions. Inhomogenous Differential Equations. General Theory of Atomic Collisions. Born’s Approximation. Scattering of Slow Electrons. Inelastic Collisions. Electrons and Molecules. Massive Particles. Transition Probability. Relativistic Treatment of the Two Body Problem …. Nuclear Problems.

    The excellent index is a read itself of the who was who in higher mathematics including a notable relative of Voyager!

    K.C. Westfold (1921-2001) a brilliant Australian mathematical brain was Professor of Applied Mathematic at Monash and at various time Dean of Science, Professor of astronomy and Vice Chancellor of the University. He was an Archibald Prize sitter.

    Cornerstone book of the period in this supreme area of mathematical physics – nice relevant previous ownership.

    $65.00

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  • Argonauts of the Western Pacific – Bronislaw Malinowski – First edition 1922

    An account of Native Enterprise and Adventures in the Archipelagos of Melanesian New Guinea.

    Malinowski’s other landmark book published by Routledge, London in 1922. Octavo, 527 pages with 5 maps and 65 illustrations from l photographs. We have another copy, layer published but with provenance.

    Rebound nicely at some time in black cloth covered boards with gilt titles to spine. A very good copy accepting this.

    A richly illustrated account of the ceremonial exchange of manufactured shell valuables linking the Trobriand Islands with other island groups in Eastern New Guinea. Malinowski follows a canoe voyage around the Kula ring of islands.

    Following an introduction about subject, method and scope which is regarded as some of the most influential pages in the field of social anthropology .. Malinowski explores the country and inhabitants of Kula; the Natives of the Trobriand Islands; Canoes and sailing; Ceremonial Buildings at Waga; Ceremonial Visiting; an Overseas Expedition; the Fleet at Muwa; Sailing to Pilolu; a Shipwreck; in the Amphlets – the Sociology of the Kula; Tewara and Sanaroa- mythology; the beach at Sarubwoyna; the journey Home; the return visit of the Dobuans to Sinaketa; Magic and Kula; the Power of Words in Magic; Expeditions to Kiriwinan d Kitava …. meaning of Kula.

    Malinowski a pioneer in the field of social anthropology and perhaps not yet eclipsed and, the most interesting of subjects – First Edition 1922.

    $80.00

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  • Australian Born Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry – [Sir] John Warcup Cornforth – Signed manuscript letter

    Australian Born Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry – [Sir] John Warcup Cornforth – Signed manuscript letter

    A very special letter (dated 1980) not only because of its truly distinguished author but here we have real content. Letters by Nobel Prize winners are not terribly rare but so often are perfunctory, relating to meetings, events or simply lunch. Here we have real, in depth, chemistry. The receiver, Dr Buckel, a distinguished scientist in his own right, may have been rather embarrassed on receipt. Cornforth believes that Buckel had tackled his work from completely the wrong route … indeed Cornforth is puzzled and goes on to set out in great detail his preferred option(s). In our view the content reveals the manner in which Cornforth visualises the solution to the problem from first principles then more complex mechanisms and solutions and alternative options as his thinking develops. The fact of his genius is plain in the writing. We love it.

    The only Australian to date to have won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

    Dear Dr Buckel

    Thank you for your letter of 7 October. I was interested by your account of the work with glutaconate, but rather puzzled that you did not try the degradation to malate in the way you say I suggested. I have forgotten the details of our conversation during your very welcome visit, but certainly I would expect direct oxidation of glutaconate to malate by permanganate to be most unfavourable. This is because in glutaconate one has the combination of a double bond deactivated by conjunction with a carboxyl and a strongly activated methylene group. In these circumstances one would expect permanganate to attack the methylene group to a considerable and perhaps predominant extent, before the double bond was attacked. This is why it would be preferable to use a specific agent first to hydroxylate the double bond. Indeed, it should be possible to proceed in high yield to malic acid by making use of the fact that one of the hydroxyl groups will form a lactone. Thus: … chemical formulae.

    He goes on …

    The opening of the lactone ring is generally faster than the hydrolysis of an ester group (especially a benzoate) so that if you put the acetyl or benzoyl-lactone in hot water and neutralized the acidity as it appeared you should be able to get a clean ring-opening without other chemical changes. I really think you should try this – it seems so much simpler than the routes you have explored.

    I will ask at Sittingbourne if they have any chiral acetate left – I brought none of it here. It will be ten years old now and will have lost nearly half its original radioactivity but a specimen tested for chirality about five years ago seemed not to have been racemized by radiolysis or by preservation in the form of aqueous potassium acetate. However, I wonder if this is the best way to make chiral 4-substituted glutamates and I wonder if you could do this from chirally tritiated malate using R-citrate synthetase and malate dehydrogenase, following this by treatment of the citrate with aconitase, isocitrate dehydrogenase etc. This should give you a totally chiral product whereas by starting from acetate you are at the mercy of isotope effects.

    Cornforth goes on to offer his help in finding candidates for research, a task he may achieve on Thursday at The Royal Society where he is attending a discussion on glycolytic enzymes. There it is again proof The Royal Society …is the best Club in the World!

    Sydney born Cornforth was totally deaf by the age of twenty but already recognised as and exceptional academic. He went to England, Oxford, along with a similarly gifted chemist Rita Harradence, who he later married. His relationship with Rita started over a broken Claisen flask .. Cornforth was a expert glassblower … something that was essential in the aspiring chemist in the 1930’s. Interestingly, there was no place in Australia where one could do a decent PhD in chemistry at that time. Naturally at Oxford Cornforth was in his element. He went on to be the first to synthesise cholesterol and had a hand in stabilising penicillin building on the work of fellow Australian Howard Florey. Cornforth was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1975 and coincidental with being made “Australian of the Year”. Cornforth also won the Davy Medal, Copley Medal, was Knighted and made Fellow of the Royal Society

    Scientific gold – Manuscript letter with considerable scientific content by Australian Nobel Prize winner John Warcup Cornforth

    $590.00

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  • Elements of Agricultural Chemistry – Humphry Davy – First Edition 1813

    A first edition of this important scientific work by (Sir) Humphry Davy (1788-1829).

    Published by Longmans, London in 1813. Presented as a series of lectures on the subject.

    Quarto, bound in three quarter leather over marbled boards, separate leather title. Pages viii, 323, lxiii, 5, with ten engraved plate one large and folding. Some light foxing and age as always.

    Knighted later, Davy was the leading chemist of the day. He worked with early batteries and possessed what was the most powerful battery at the time which he used in his often flamboyant lectures.

    He is attributed with the discovery of the field of electrochemistry and isolated many elements for the first time, particularly the alkaline metal … sodium, potassium, lithium etc.

    After this work he invented the miners safety lamp that takes his name and has saved thousands of lives.

    He became the President of the Royal Society and took on Michael Faraday as his assistant and note taker. They were both injured in experiments involving the explosive Nitrogen trichloride … a chemical that can be formed in swimming baths through the interaction of Chlorine and Urine.

    Humphry Davy the most respected scientist of the period – his lectures and the chemistry of agriculture.

    $690.00

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  • Precognition and Human Survival – Drayton Thomas.

    Precognition and Human Survival – Drayton Thomas.

    Published by the Psychic Press, High Holborn London. No date but we suspect late 1940’s.

    We cannot find any earlier versions of this work by the late 19thC Reverend Drayton Thomas who penned a number of intriguing books through Fowler and Wells such as Human Magnetism and the simply put Brain and Mind.

    Octavo, 115 pages, super deep red dust jacket over lime green cloth covered boards, titling on jacket repeated on boards. A very good if not better copy.

    “If a man should die shall he live again”. We are told that the book is the outcome of thirty years extensive research into the study of trance mediumship with the gifted sensitive Mrs Osborne Leonard. No effort is spared to provide satisfactory evidence … of many kinds. A stenographer was employed … well the expense spared.

    Drayton Thomas – Precognition Proven.

    $40.00

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  • Researches in The Phenomena of Spiritualism – William Crookes FRS. [Additions Sir Arthur Conan Doyle] – 1926

    Researches in The Phenomena of Spiritualism – William Crookes FRS. [Additions Sir Arthur Conan Doyle] – 1926

    Title continues – Together with a portion of his Presidential address given before the British Association, 1898; and An Appendix by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    Published both Manchester – the Two Worlds Publishing Co and London – The Psychic Bookshop, Victoria Street in 1926.

    Octavo, 144 pages plus index and publishers catalogue. Frontispiece image of Crookes, numerous illustrations throughout explaining the scientific goings on. Some foxing [spongy paper] and age marks to plain covers – but a scarce extremely interesting work by one of the greatest scientific minds of all time.

    Impossible to summarise Crookes’ achievements as an experimental chemist and physicist. Pioneered modern spectroscopy through his invention of the Crookes tube, discovered the element Thallium, contributed to the filling out [reorganisation] of the Periodic Table re the inert gases. A wealthy man who had a great business brain and combined these talents to fund his own research. In later years a whole, very large, floor of his Kensington Residence was a series of private laboratories and scientific library. Received the Nobel Prize in 1907 and many others achieved theirs through his work.

    So, Crookes was interested in forces and formed the concept of plasma being the fourth state of nature. His interest in spiritualism and spiritual forces was a serious matter – he was President of the relevant Society at one time. This book summarises earlier publications of his views and experiments – and includes a chapter from his friend and fellow spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on an “Independent Testimony as to the mediumship of Florence Cook”.

    Crookes’ chapter headings are a useful guide … Spiritualism Viewed by the Light of Modern Science; Experimental Investigation of a New Force; Some Further Experiments on Psychic Force; Miss Florence Cooks Mediumship; Spirit-Forms; the Last of Katie King etc.

    Sir William Crookes one of the worlds great experimental scientists and the Spirit Forces.

    $70.00

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