4-36-29. H. Poincaré to Giovanni Battista Guccia
[30.11.1905]^{1}^{1}endnote: ^{1} The manuscript bears two annotations in Guccia’s hand: “Paris 30/11/05” and “Risp. cart. 3/12/05 – G.” Poincaré’s postscript suggests that the letter was not delivered to Guccia at first, that it returned to Paris and was resent to Palermo on 30 November, 1905.
Mon cher ami,
Pourriez-vous me faire adresser un second exemplaire des épreuves de mon mémoire, que je voudrais envoyer à Langevin. Il ne s’agit pas d’une seconde épreuve après correction, mais d’un second exemplaire de la 1^{re} épreuve.^{2}^{2}endnote: ^{2} Poincaré’s manuscript features a section entitled “les ondes de Langevin,” which Poincaré probably wanted to show Paul Langevin prior to publication. Langevin waves are created by the motion of an electron in the absolute ether, and are of two types: velocity waves (les ondes de vitesse) and acceleration waves (les ondes d’accélération). Langevin waves propagate in the electromagnetic ether with the velocity of light; for a non-technical summary, see Walter (2018). The corrected proofs in the Circolo archives show Poincaré’s insertion of a footnote acknowledging the priority (over Langevin) of A. H. Bucherer for the constant-volume model of the electron (Poincaré, 1906, 130). More than likely, Langevin himself pointed out Bucherer’s priority to Poincaré. As for the “second corrected proof”, it appears that this was never printed, since Poincaré annotated every page of the first corrected proof with his “Bon à tirer”.
Votre ami dévoué,
Poincaré
Cette lettre finit par arriver à destination (du moins je l’espère) après une longue odyssée.^{3}^{3}endnote: ^{3} Poincaré’s remark suggests that the letter was resent after a failed delivery by post, as mentioned in the first note. Guccia, in the postscript to his letter of 16 July (§ 4-36-27), reminded Poincaré to take care in writing his name on envelopes sent to the editorial office of the Rendiconti, which was colocated with his residence.
J’ai reçu les épreuves; j’examinerai les points que vous me signalez.^{4}^{4}endnote: ^{4} Poincaré’s manuscript and the corrected proofs of his memoir on the dynamics of the electron are both conserved at the Circolo archives. They show only minor typographical corrections, for the most part, and the addition of a single footnote recognizing Bucherer’s priority for the constant-volume electron model. Guccia asked Poincaré for a single title verification and a pair of corrections in his letter of 25 November (§ 4-36-28), and Poincaré addressed these points, as shown by the corrected proofs. There remained, however, a misleading mistake in his definition of a velocity four-vector, as pointed out by (Walter, 2007). The latter account describes the mistake as a “misprint”, but in fact, the faulty definition appears in Poincaré’s manuscript, and it was faithfully rendered in the proofs. Poincaré failed to correct his erroneous definition of four-velocity in the proofs. The memoir was published in the January, 1906 issue of the Rendiconti di Palerme, just as Guccia had promised in his letter of 16 July (§ 4-36-27).
ALS 2p. Archives, Circolo matematico di Palermo.
Time-stamp: "23.08.2023 10:08"
Notes
- 1 The manuscript bears two annotations in Guccia’s hand: “Paris 30/11/05” and “Risp. cart. 3/12/05 – G.” Poincaré’s postscript suggests that the letter was not delivered to Guccia at first, that it returned to Paris and was resent to Palermo on 30 November, 1905.
- 2 Poincaré’s manuscript features a section entitled “les ondes de Langevin,” which Poincaré probably wanted to show Paul Langevin prior to publication. Langevin waves are created by the motion of an electron in the absolute ether, and are of two types: velocity waves (les ondes de vitesse) and acceleration waves (les ondes d’accélération). Langevin waves propagate in the electromagnetic ether with the velocity of light; for a non-technical summary, see Walter (2018). The corrected proofs in the Circolo archives show Poincaré’s insertion of a footnote acknowledging the priority (over Langevin) of A. H. Bucherer for the constant-volume model of the electron (Poincaré, 1906, 130). More than likely, Langevin himself pointed out Bucherer’s priority to Poincaré. As for the “second corrected proof”, it appears that this was never printed, since Poincaré annotated every page of the first corrected proof with his “Bon à tirer”.
- 3 Poincaré’s remark suggests that the letter was resent after a failed delivery by post, as mentioned in the first note. Guccia, in the postscript to his letter of 16 July (§ 4-36-27), reminded Poincaré to take care in writing his name on envelopes sent to the editorial office of the Rendiconti, which was colocated with his residence.
- 4 Poincaré’s manuscript and the corrected proofs of his memoir on the dynamics of the electron are both conserved at the Circolo archives. They show only minor typographical corrections, for the most part, and the addition of a single footnote recognizing Bucherer’s priority for the constant-volume electron model. Guccia asked Poincaré for a single title verification and a pair of corrections in his letter of 25 November (§ 4-36-28), and Poincaré addressed these points, as shown by the corrected proofs. There remained, however, a misleading mistake in his definition of a velocity four-vector, as pointed out by (Walter, 2007). The latter account describes the mistake as a “misprint”, but in fact, the faulty definition appears in Poincaré’s manuscript, and it was faithfully rendered in the proofs. Poincaré failed to correct his erroneous definition of four-velocity in the proofs. The memoir was published in the January, 1906 issue of the Rendiconti di Palerme, just as Guccia had promised in his letter of 16 July (§ 4-36-27).
Références
- Sur la dynamique de l’électron. Rendiconti del Circolo matematico di Palermo 21, pp. 129–176. link1, link2 Cited by: endnote 2.
- The Genesis of General Relativity, Volume 3: Theories of Gravitation in the Twilight of Classical Physics, Between Mechanics, Field Theory, and Astronomy. Springer, Berlin. link2 Cited by: S. A. Walter (2007).
- Beyond Einstein: Perspectives on Geometry, Gravitation, and Cosmology in the Twentieth Century. Birkhäuser, New York. link2 Cited by: S. A. Walter (2018).
- Breaking in the 4-vectors: the four-dimensional movement in gravitation, 1905–1910. See The Genesis of General Relativity, Volume 3: Theories of Gravitation in the Twilight of Classical Physics, Between Mechanics, Field Theory, and Astronomy, Renn and Schemmel, pp. 193–252. link1, link2 Cited by: endnote 4.
- Figures of light in the early history of relativity (1905–1914). See Beyond Einstein: Perspectives on Geometry, Gravitation, and Cosmology in the Twentieth Century, Rowe et al., Einstein Studies, Vol. 14, pp. 3–50. link1, link2 Cited by: endnote 2.