Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time / Edition 10 by Dava Sobel | 9780140258790 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

3.8 112
by Dava Sobel
     
 

ISBN-10: 0140258795

ISBN-13: 9780140258790

Pub. Date: 10/28/1996

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated

Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day -- and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing

Overview

Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day -- and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution.

The quest for a solution had occupied scientists and their patrons for the better part of two centuries when, in 1714, England's Parliament upped the ante by offering a king's ransom ([pound]20,000, or approximately $12 million in today's currency) to anyone whose method or device proved successful. Countless quacks weighed in with preposterous suggestions. The scientific establishment throughout Europe -- from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton -- had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution -- a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land.

Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest, and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, brilliance and the absurd, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking. Through Dava Sobel's consummate skill, Longitude will open a new window on our world for all who read it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140258790
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
4.48(w) x 7.48(h) x 0.53(d)
Lexile:
1310L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsvii
1.Imaginary Lines1
2.The Sea Before Time11
3.Adrift in a Clockwork Universe21
4.Time in a Bottle34
5.Powder of Sympathy41
6.The Prize51
7.Cogmaker's Journal61
8.The Grasshopper Goes to Sea74
9.Hands on Heaven's Clock88
10.The Diamond Timekeeper100
11.Trial by Fire and Water111
12.A Tale of Two Portraits126
13.The Second Voyage of Captain James Cook138
14.The Mass Production of Genius152
15.In the Meridian Courtyard165
Sources177
Index181

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