8vo. [26 x 16 cm], (51-) 83 pp., (the issue paginated 216 ). Bound in original printed wrappers, leaves uncut.
Very rare first edition of a treatise on a total solar eclipse by Nicolai Lobachevsky, one of the Russian mathematician’s few works to treat a subject other than the non-Euclidean geometry whose discovery made his reputation. Lobachevsky observed the eclipse of 8 July 1842 (recorded in the volume as 26 June, using the old style calendar) and made minute records of its contact, path and duration. More importantly, he also attempted to explain the presence of the visible solar corona, an extremely rare phenomenon that remained a mystery to astronomers until the late 19th C.
Nicolai Lobachevsky (1792-1856) studied under the German mathematician Martin Bartels at Kazan University, where, by age 28, he was appointed chair of the Department of Mathematics and Physics. He wrote his first major work, Geometriya, in 1823; by 1826 he had formulated the principle theorems of the groundbreaking non-Euclidean geometry, which paved the way for advancements in relativity theory and quantum physics.
* Kagan 11. Not in DSB.