1875. XVI, 262,  pp., 12 ill. 34x17 cm. Contemporary binding. Overall in a very good condition.
First edition. One of the most important works on the elasticity of gases.
Mendeleev became engaged in the study of the topic in the early 1870s, after the publication of the final volume of Osnovi khimii [i.e. The Principles of Chemistry] (1869-1871). The discovery, which turned the 19th century scientific world upside down, was initially directed at a different cause. Mendeleev used the research on the elasticity of gases as a means to achieve his long-pursued dream of constructing an aerostat. Originally conceived as a way to raise money for the necessary equipment, the study turned out to be what the scientist would later regard as one of the most important achievements of his life. An outcome of Mendeleev’s 4 year-long investigation of permanent gases at low pressure was published in the first volume of On the Elasticity of Gases (1875). In the edition, the author re-examined commonly accepted combination of Boyle’s (at constant temperature the pressure is inversely proportional to the gas volume) and Gay-Lussac’s (the pressure is directly proportional to absolute temperature) laws and connected them with the third, Avogadro’s law (equal volumes of gases at the same temperature and pressure contain the same number of molecules). Most importantly, Mendeleev incorporated constants from all of the previous laws into one universal gas constant (R=8,3145 J/Mole K; taking a single equation for all pure gases and their mixtures) and transformed the original expression of the ideal gas law (PV=R(t+267) - Clapeyron’s equation) into the updated formula (nowadays known as PV=nRT). The equation, “essentially important in the physicochemical sense” (D.M), connected empirical conclusions about gas properties to the new theory, demonstrating that the volume of the gas was directly proportional to the number of moles and, temperature, and inversely proportional to the pressure. Another important feature of the book is the detailed information about the instruments Mendeleev used or created during his studies of the gas compression. On the Elasticity of Gases is likely to be the first publication introducing a precursor of the altimeter - a differential barometer the scientist invented to gauge differences in the elevation. Because of the unusual choice of the manometrical liquid, the newly developed instrument was 15 times more precise than the preceding one. The barometer had proved a huge success and in 1875 Mendeleev was awarded a golden medal at the International Geographic Exhibition in Paris. Commissioned by the Imperial Russian Technical Society, the book was conceived to be published in two volumes. However, despite of numerous requests, the author had never printed the sequel, possibly because his interest shifted to the air flying. The edition features 12 tables illustrating various instruments (manometer, gas meter, differential barometer, hydrogen thermometer, cathetometer, etc., and their application during different experiments.