Weighing the World: The Quest to Measure the Earth

Weighing the World: The Quest to Measure the Earth


By (author) Edwin Danson

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Paperback $21.01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 236mm x 23mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 26 January 2006
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195181697
  • ISBN 13: 9780195181692
  • Illustrations note: 15 halftones, 45 line drawings
  • Sales rank: 928,132

Product description

Calculating the weight of the Earth was one of the most significant scientific advances of the 18th century, one which revolutionised cartography & had vast implications for the nascent sciences of geology & astrophysics. A lonely mountain in Scotland became the site of some of the most interesting studies.

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Review quote

Danson has an excellent feel for the practicalities of surveying ... he also has the makings of a good story. John North, Times Literary Supplement It makes highly interesting reading for high school and college level students and a fine reference for individuals wishing to learn more about this important facet of science history - our civilization's attempt to measure accurately the longitude and latitude as a basis for accurate maps and to provide accurate specific locations for all types of research on Earth. Environmental Geology, (2006) 50: 1105-1106 MEASURING the shape of the world in the 18th century was a considerable adventure. Astronomers had to haul equipment to remote corners of the globe to look for its subtle deviations from a perfect sphere. This is history writ large, with a long list of characters, and a background of wars, where good maps could be the key to victory. Danson's narrative sometimes wanders, but his asides can be priceless, like his description of the first British balloonists to cross the English Channel. To keep aloft they had to discard first ballast, then supplies, and ultimately most of their clothing. New Scientist USA Print Edition. January 2006.