Book by Jean-Jacques Dortous de Mairan; Dissertation sur la Glace...1749

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Dortous de Mairan, Jean-Jacques; Dissertation sur la Glace, ou explication physique de la formation de la Glace, & de ces divers phénomèns. Paris, l'Imprimerie Royale, 1749. Octavo, pp. xxix, (11), 384, xx, with engraved frontispiece and 5 folded engraved plates.

The volume is complete and in contemporary full tree calf; gilt spine panels, marbled end-sheets, red edges. Light scuffing to boards and corners, text bright and clean, very good.


Dortous de Mairan (1678-1771) had emphasized the slowness with which ice melts, and showed that ice melts faster in contact with salt in freezing mixtures which explained why salt water did not freeze at the same temperatures as fresh water. Mairan was concerned with a wide variety of subjects, including heat, light, sound, motion, the shape of the earth, and the aurora. He wanted to find physical mechanisms (in the Cartesian sense) to explain natural phenomena.