Joseph Plateau's book translated into English

Joseph Plateau In 1873, Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau published a two-volume work summarizing his decades of research into soap bubbles and related phenomena due to surface tension. Entitled "Statique Expérimentale et Théorique des Liquides soumis aux Seules Forces Moléculaires," it has become an inspiration for generations of mathematicians and phycists. Wanting to read it, and not being able to read French very well, and not being able to find an English translation, I decided to through technology at the problem. I scanned a copy of the book, ran it through Microsoft Word optical character recognition, and then through Google language translation. With a lot of hand-fixing and conversion to LaTeX, and insertion of figures, it finally wound up somewhat readable. As a service to other fans of Plateau, I am making the results available here. Remember this is provided for free, and you get what you pay for, so there are no guarantees about the accuracy of the scanning or the translation.

French version. This is a single PDF file containing both volumes, about 5MB in size. It is the result of scanning, OCR, conversion to LaTeX, and insertion of figures. The OCR results were corrected by hand according to Word spell-checking in French and whatever other egregious errors I noticed, but I did not do a character-by-character comparison with the original. I tried to follow the typographical style and layout of the original as much as possible, but the pagination is different. The PDF file has Bookmarks for the volumes and chapters, and paragraph numbers are active links in the tables of contents and internal cross-references.

English version. This is a single PDF file containing an English translation of both volumes, about 7MB in size. I ran the LaTeX source for the French version through the free Google translator, and then went through the resulting fractured English by hand, changing it enough to be minimally comprehensible. The PDF file has Bookmarks for the volumes and chapters and the main topics within chapters, and paragraph numbers are active links in the tables of contents and internal cross-references. There is also an image index of thumbnails at the end.

Danish version of this page, thanks to a contributer. And Indonesian.


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