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Physics & Optics

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Popularizing Electricity

BIANCONI, Giovanni. Sendschrieben uber die Electricitat an den herrn Grafen Algarotti. Basel, Joh. Rudolf Imhof, 1750.

8vo., 44 pp. In contemporary wrapper. Excellent.


First German edition (translated from the 1748 French original) of Bianconi's letter addressed to Francesco Algarotti (1712-1764), author of Neutonismo per le donne (1733), which did much to popularize Newtonian views on optics on the continent and made him a European celebrity at the age of twenty-one. Algarotti also wrote on electricity and was an intimate of Frederick the Great whom he advised on the staffing of the new Berlin Academy.

The author of this open letter to Algarotti, Giovanni Bianconi (1717-1781), held positions as professor at Bologna and subsequently as physician of the Landgrafen von Hessen and August III von Sachsen. He also wrote several works of physics of which this one concerns contemporary views on the electrical properties of bodies and the need to popularize the latest developments in the field-a pursuit to which Algarotti might be particularly inclined. The work also appeared in French, published Amsterdam, 1748.

OCLC records Harvard, Linda Hall, Smithsonian, and Bakken (MN).

* Poggendorff I.186.

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