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

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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. One man, John Harrison, in complete opposition to the scientific community, 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, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 116.84 x 182.88 x 17.78mm | 158.76g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations, colour illustrations, frontispiece
  • 080271529X
  • 9780802715296
  • 14,468

Review quote

"A simple tale, brilliantly told." --"Washington Post Book World" " ""A gem of a book." --"The New York Times" " ""As much a tale of intrigue as it is of science...for anyone interested in history, geography, astronomy, navigation, clockmaking, and--not the least--plain old human ambition and greed." --"Philadelphia Inquirer" " ""Intricate and elegant...No novelist could improve on the elements of Dava Sobel's "Longitude."" --"Newsweek"show more

About Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel is the bestselling author of Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, and The Planets, coauthor of The Illustrated Longitude, and editor of Letters to Father. She lives in East Hampton, New York.show more
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