Weighing the World

Weighing the World : The Quest to Measure the Earth

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At the start of the 18th century there were no maps, anywhere in the world. No one knew, with any certainty, the shape of the earth or what lay beneath its surface. Was it hollow or solid? Were the Andes the highest mountains on the Earth or was it the peak of Tenerife? Was the Earth a perfect sphere or slightly squashed as Sir Isaac Newton prophesized? In Weighing the World, master-surveyor and bestselling author Edwin Danson presents the stories of the scientists and scholars who cut their way through jungles, crossed the artic tundra, and braved the world's highest mountains to discover the truth about our Earth. Danson also recounts the extraordinary experiment, conducted on a desolate Scottish peak by Astromer Royal Neville Maskelyne, to understand the so-called "attraction of mountains," the curious capability mountians have to bend gravity, without which it would be impossible to accurately map Earth's surface. A spell-binding scientific adventure story, Weighing the World will intrigue anyone curious about the shape of our planet and how we have come to know it.

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  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • 60 black and white halftone illustrations
  • 0195384954
  • 9780195384956
  • 1,060,505

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Review quote

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. The New Scientist

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About Edwin Danson

Edwin Danson is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors. He is the author of Drawing the Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America.

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Reviews from Goodreads.com