LOMONOSOV, Mikhail Vasil’evich (1711-1765)
Polnoye sobraniye sochineniy Mikhayla Vasil'yevicha Lomonosova
St. Petersburg: Izhdiveniem Imperatorskoi akademii nauk, 1784-1787. 6 volumes, quarto. (10 x 8 inches). xviii, 345, ; 262, ; 260 (i.e. 258, with no pages numbered 225-226 as issued), ; , 294, ; , 241, ; , 451 (i.e. 449, with no pages numbered 201-202 as issued),  pp. Engraved portrait frontispiece in vol. 1, 16 engraved plates (15 folding). Engraved headpieces. Early manuscript annotations in vols. 5 and 6.
Contemporary tree calf, flat spines gilt, red and black morocco lettering pieces, marbled endpapers
First edition of the collected works of the Russian scientist and polymath Lomonosov.
A poet and scientist from a poor family near Archangel, Lomonosov studied metallurgy in Germany. "On his [return to] Russia he rapidly rose to distinction, and was made professor of chemistry in the University of St Petersburg. He ultimately became rector, and in 1764 secretary of state ...The most valuable of the works of Lomonosov are those relating to physical science, and he wrote upon many branches of it ... He compiled a Russian grammar, which long enjoyed popularity, and did much to improve the rhythm of Russian verse" (Encyclopaedia Britannica). His most lasting work related to the formulation of the Law of Mass Conservation in chemical reactions; i.e. in a chemical reaction, the mass of reactants is equal to the mass of the products. Lomonosov founded the first chemistry laboratory at the Russian Academy of Science, and was integral in the founding of Moscow University. He would become the first to record the freezing temperature of mercury, and as an astronomer, the first to observe and deduce the atmosphere of Venus. Around the same time, he improved the design of the reflecting telescope. Lomonosov's work on mineralogy led to observations on iceberg formation, which in turn yielded early theories on continental drift, as well as the theoretical existence of Antarctica. In 1764, he organized the Chichagov expedition to find the Northeast Passage, and invented various maritime tools for calculating direction at sea. The annual award for achievements in science presented by the Russian Academy of Sciences is named in his honor.