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Alan Turing's copy

[Turing, Alan]. Jeans, J[ames] H[opwood]. The Mathematical Theory of Electricity and Magnetism.

Cambridge, University Press, 1927.

Royal 8vo. VII, (1), 652 pp. Original dark blue cloth.

Fifth edition.

Alan Turing's copy, acquired by him (from Galloway & Porter), shortly after going up to Cambridge. The front free endpaper is signed "A. M. Turing", with the date, "November 1931", at the foot. An advantage of the slight browning of the half-title, is that the signature appears on it as an inverse shadow. Not only was this one of his earliest acquisitions at Cambridge, the book was sufficiently important to him to refer to it (this specific edition) in one of his last works, "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis" (morphogenesis being Turing's coinage) in the Phil. Trans. in 1952 (cf. Chapter 34 of The Turing Guide, Turing's Theory of Morphogenesis). The paper explained how natural patterns such as stripes, spots and spirals, like those of the giant pufferfish, may arise naturally ("Turing instability").

"From 1905 to 1909 Jeans was professor of applied mathematics at Princeton University, where he wrote two textbooks, 'Theoretical Mechanics' (1906) and 'Mathematical Theory of Electricity and Magnetism' (1908). The latter work, written in Jeans's fluent style, was widely used and went through many editions" (DSB). This is the first reprint of the fifth edition of 1925, with the Prefaces to each edition.

First and last pages slightly browned, binding a little worn at extremities.