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BRAVAIS, Auguste.

(1811 – 1863)

(Born: Annonay, France, 23 Augus 1811; Died: Le Chesnay, France, 30 March 1863) French crystallographer, botanist, astronomer & physicist.

Bravais received a classical education at the Collège Stanislas in Paris, graduating in 1827. In 1829, he won first prize in mathematics in a general competition and was accepted to the École Polytechnique. He was first in his class at the end of the first year which made him eligible to select any technical field except mining. Since his passion from youth was to explore the world, he chose to enter the French navy. In 1832, Bravais shipped out. He sailed the Mediterranean and in April of that year was assigned to map the coast of Algeria. The first of many expeditions he would accompany. Several important publications on plant organography won him membership in the Société Philomathique de Paris in 1835. On an extended assignment in Norwegian Lapland from 1838 to 1839, Bravais made numerous observations in astronomy, meteorology and terrestrial magnetism. Several years later in 1845, he accepted an appointment as professor of physics at the École Polytechnique. There, he became interested in symmetry and reticular groupings, sending several important papers to the Académie de Sciences. Among these were several important in the development of crystallography [which see below]. Bravais held membership in the Académie Royale des Sciences, Belles Lettres et Arts de Lyons and the Académie de Sciences.

Biographical references: ABF: I 150, 23-28; 1054, 310. American Journal of Science: Series 2, 36 (1863), 401-2. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 33. Bibl. Warsz. DBF: 7, 170-1. DSB: 2, 430-1 [by A. Birembaut]. Fruton, Bio-Bibliography, 1982: 92 [other refs.]. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 190. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 56. Mayerhöfer, Lexikon der Naturwissenschaften, 1958-75: 1, 549. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 283-4 & 3, 184-5. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 614-5. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 429. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 234.

Études Crystallographiques, 1866

1. French, 1866.
Études | Crystallographiques, | Par | M. Auguste Bravais, | Membre De L'Institut (Académie Des Sciences). | [ornate rule] | Paris, | Gauthier-Villars, Imprimeur-Libraire | Du Bureau Des Longitudes, De L'École Impériale Polytechnique, | Successeur De Mallet-Bachelier, | Quai des Augustins, 55. | [rule] | 1866.

4°: [i]-lxii, [2], [1]-290 p., 13 plates. Page size: 268 x 210 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "Études | Cristallographiques," verso "Paris. - Imprimerie De Gauthier-Villars, Successeur De Mallet-Bacheijer. | ..."; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v], "Avertissement."-signed "É.D.B." [Élie de Beaumont].; [vi], Blank.; [vii]-ix, "Fragment de l'Éloge historique d'Auguste Bravais, ..."; [x], Blank.; [xi]-xviii, "Note sur les polyèdres symétriques de la géométrie."; [xix]-lxii, "Mémoire sur les polyèdres de forme symétrique."; [one plate].; [1 pg], "Mémoire | sur | Les Systèmes Formés Par Des Points | Distribués Régulierement Sur Un Plan Ou Dans L'Espace."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-287, Text.; [288], Blank.; 289-290, "Table Des Matières."

Plates: Consist of reproductions from Bravais' various papers concerning crystallography. Consequently, the subjects deal with crystal drawings and diagrams.

Rare. A collected works of Bravais as it relates to crystallography to stand as his memorial to the science he contributed so much to. According to the advertisement, it was pulled together by ?? H. de Senarmont [????], and probably published by the Académie des Sciences in Paris. The preliminaries include a portion of Élie de Beaumont's eulogie to Bravais and a review of the importance of his contributions to crystallography. The text then reprints several monographs that appeared decades before but that had a profound influence on crystallography in morphological and structural studies. At the conclusion of the volume are two papers by M. Cauchy [?????] describing the importance of the previous reprints in crystallography.

"Beginning in 1848, Auguste Bravais wrote a series of papers in which he treated initially the types of geometric figures formed by points distributed regularly in space and then applied these considerations to crystals, with the points viewed as being the centers of gravity of the chemical molecules or as poles of forces. With this approach, Bravais was able to explain the cleavage and external symmetry of crystals as a function of the reticular density. Most important, Bravais demonstrated that there was a maximum of fourteen space lattices or groups of points differing by symmetry and geometry whose translational repetition in space maintained the symmetrical arrangements of the points of a unit cell. He perceived that these fourteen space lattices denoted seven different lattice symmetries which corresponded to the previously recognized seven crystal systems. Hence, the external symmetry became firmly grounded on the concept of the space lattice." (Burke).

German, 1890: A. Bravais' Abhandlungen über symmetrische polyeder. (1849) Uebersetzte und in gemeinschaft mit P. Groth herausgegeben von C. und E. Blasius. Mit 1 tafel. Leipzig, W. Engelmann, 1890. 50 p., diagrams on folding plate.

Published as Ostwald's Klassiker der exakten Wissenschaften, no. 17, this translation was edited by Eugen Heinrich August Blasius [1861-    ] and Paul Groth. It was first published under titles "Note sur les polyèdres symétriques de la géometrie" and Mémoire sur les polyèdres de forme symétrique" in the Journal de mathématiques pures et appliquées, par Liouville, 1849.

German, 1897: Abhandlung über die systeme von regelmässig auf einer ebene oder raum vertheilten punkten, von A. Bravais ... (1848) Uebersetzen und herausgegeben von C. und E. Blasius. Mit 2 tafeln. Leipzig, W. Engelmann, 1897. 142 p., 42 diagrams on 2 folding plates.

Published as Ostwalds Klassiker der exakten Wissenschaften, no. 90, first published in Journal de l'École polytechnique, tome 19. It formed part 2 of Études Cristallographiques, published in 1866. The present translation is based upon the 1866 edition.

English, 1949: On the systems formed by points regularly distributed on a plane or in space; translated by Amos J. Shaler. Crystallographic Society of America, 1949. viii, 113 p., diagrams.

Published as The Crystallographic Society of America. Memoir, no. 1. It is a translation of the original paper that first appeared as "Mémoire sur les systèmes formés par des points distribués régulièrement sur un plan ou dans l'espace" in Journal de l'École polytechnique, cahier 33, tome XIX, pages 1-128, Paris, 1850.

Bibliographical references: Burke, Origins of the Science of Crystals, 1966: p. 171. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 67. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 162.