Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Illustrations

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p. viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

Aepinus's Essay on the Theory of Electricity and Magnetism, first published in St. Petersburg in 1759, was one of the outstanding achievements of eighteenth-century physics. Previously, the sciences of electricity and magnetism had always been investigated...

Abbreviations

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p. xiii

Chronology

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p. xiv

Introduction

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1. Biographical Outline

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pp. 3-64

Franz Ulrich Theodosius Aepinus* was born in Rostock, the chief town of the north German Duchy of Mecklenburg, on 13 December 1724, the second son and fifth and last child of Franz Albert Aepinus, the highly esteemed professor of theology in the...

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2. The Electrical Background

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pp. 65-106

The eighteenth century was the golden age of electrical investigation. Restricted to a single obscure and little-known phenomenon at the beginning of the century, by the end electricity had become a major field of scientific endeavor, with ramifications spreading...

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3. Electricity in the Essay

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pp. 107-136

Although Aepinus's Essay of 1759 is one of the most important eighteenth-century works dealing with electricity, Aepinus himself regarded its contributions to electrical science as peripheral to its contributions to the study of magnetism. At the very beginning...

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4. Magnetism

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pp. 137-188

Eighteenth-century physics faced no more baffling task than to explain satisfactorily the mysterious powers associated with the magnet, or lodestone. Almost to a man, those writing on the subject began by bemoaning the complexity and seeming...

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5. A Place in History

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pp. 189-224

When, in June 1759, Aepinus sought approval from his colleagues in the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences for the printing of his great Essay on the Theory of Electricity and Magnetism, he also sought and obtained their permission to have the work...

An Essay on the Theory of Electricity and Magnetism by F.U.T. Aepinus

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pp. 225-228

Most Illustrious Count Most Gracious Lord

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pp. 229-232

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Preface

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pp. 233-236

I write the preface of a work which is published in an imperfect state. For, at the conclusion of my labor, I see that some things could have been expressed more harmoniously, more distinctly and more methodically than they are. Though I was much...

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Introduction

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pp. 237-240

1) After the discovery of the marvelous phenomena and laws of electricity, a force almost unknown to the ancients, some physicists soon began to contemplate a comparison between this newly discovered force and the magnetic force, which is equally marvelous...

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1. General Principles of the Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

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pp. 241-303

1) The scholar who knows Franklin's very elegant theory of electricity, which agrees astonishingly with the phenomena, will recognize that it can be reduced to these few universal propositions.
a) There is a certain most subtle, truly elastic fluid producing...

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2. Concerning Electrical and Magnetic Attraction and Repulsion

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pp. 304-349

107A)55 The attraction of two bodies close to one another, both abounding beyond the natural quantity (by quantities α and 8) with a fluid endowed with the properties we have ascribed to the magnetic and electric fluids, has been found above...

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3. Concerning the Communication of Electricity and Magnetism

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pp. 350-391

194) It is abundantly established through experience that electrical and magnetic bodies can communicate their force to other bodies; in fact, in the magnetic case, I shall show later that all known methods of making a body magnetic can be reduced solely to -communication...

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4. Concerning Certain Phenomena of Bodies Immersed in Electric and Magnetic Vortices, and Concerning the Magnetism of the Earth

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pp. 392-452

274)125 Since I shall be using the terms vortex or electric atmosphere or magnetic atmosphere in what follows, it is advisable for me to declare at the very start the sense in which I employ these words, so that my readers may not attribute to them a significance...

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An Explanation

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pp. 453-468

1) The celebrated Richmann first discovered a certain phenomenon of the Leyden jar which must it seems, at first sight, be numbered among the more difficult to explain.198 The experiment is the following. From the two plates CD and IK, Fig. CXV, covering...

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An Explanation

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pp. 469-478

1) Recently a friend whose perspicacity in physics and mathematics I value highly reminded me of a certain quite paradoxical magnetic phenomenon of which I remember (though quite dimly) once reading a description. I have also completely forgoten where...

Appendix: Annotated Bibliography of Aepinus's, Published Writings

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pp. 479-498

Bibliography of Secondary Works Cited

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pp. 499-504

Index

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pp. 505-514