"The next step was also quite clear: the active molecules, which are active in regard to electricity, are also active in regard to chemical properties, and that was the great step... I got that idea on the night of the 17th of May in the year 1883, and I could not sleep that night until I had worked through the whole problem."
FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS, of Arrhenius's landmark discovery of the theory of electrolytic disassociation. Arrhenius was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in chemistry "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered to the advancement of chemistry by his electrolytic theory of dissociation."
By 1880, "it was known that solutions of certain compounds conduct electricity and that chemical reactions could occur when a current was passed. It was thought that the current decomposed the substance. In 1883 Arrhenius proposed a theory that substances were partly converted into an active form when dissolved. The active part was responsible for conductivity. In the case of acids and bases, he correlated the strength with the degree of decomposition on solution. This work was published as Reserches sur la conductibilite galvanique des electrolytes (1884; Researches on the Electrical Conductivity of Electrolytes) and submitted as his doctoral dissertation... Arrhenius sent his work to several leading physical chemists, including Jacobus van't Hoff. Friedrich Ostwald, and Rudolf Clausius, who were immediately impressed" (Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists). Arrhenius soon gained high international acclaim, ultimately being awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work.
Recherches sur la conductabilite galvanique des electrolytes. Two volumes. Bihang till K. Svenska Vet.-Akad. handlingar, volume 8, nos.13 & 14. Stockholm: Norstedt, 1884. Octavo (216 x 136mm), both volumes in original printed wrappers. One plate (volume 1). Owner's initials at base of top wrapper to volume two. Both wrappers neatly split along top joint- volume two detached and volume one literally hanging by a thread; otherwise fine. WITH: Three others by or about Arrhenius: Undersokning med Rheotom ofver den galvaniska polarisationens forsvinnade (Stockholm, 1882), The Foundations of the Theory of Dilute Solutions ... Electrolytic Dissociation by Svante Arrhenius (Edinburgh, 1961) and Svante Arrhenius till 100-arsinnet av hans fodelse (Uppsala, 1959). All contained in a folding cloth box.
Price: $1,600 .