21 March – 21 June 2016 in Florence, Rome, Naples, Palermo, Padua

KIRCHHOFF, GUSTAV (1824-1887)

Untersuchungen über das Sonnenspectrum und die Spectren der chemischen Elemente 3. abd.
Berlin: Ferd. Dummler’s, 1866-1875, 2 v. ([4], 43 p., 3 pl.; 16 p., 2 pl.); 300 mm on the cover of both volumes is printed “Società degli Spettroscopisti Italiani”

INAF – Palermo Astronomical Observatory, Historical Library

Third edition of the famous work (Research on the solar spectrum and the spectra of chemical elements) by Gustav Kirchhoff, professor of Physics at Heidelberg University.
In 1859, he and the chemist Robert Bunsen laid the fundamentals of spectral analysis and explained the mechanisms leading to the formation of the typical absorption and emission lines shown by many chemical elements.
The analysis of the lines of stellar spectra allowed astronomers to determine the chemical composition of the Sun and other stars.
The present work was presented to the Academy of Science in Berlin by Kirchhoff in 1861 and it was published the following year. The two volumes are endorsed with the stamp of Società degli Spettroscopisti Italiani, whose President was Tacchini, during his stay in Palermo, and it is likely that they were acquired by him. Volume I is open on plate III, which illustrates the prism spectroscope used by Kirchhoff for his spectral studies; volume II is open on plate Ia, which shows the lines of the solar spectrum measured in Heidelberg.
Both volumes have recently undergone conservative restauration. [i.c., d.r.]

Bibl.: Hentschel 2002, pp. 54, 125; Hearnshaw 1989, 42-43.