Weighing the World : The Quest to Measure the Earth
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.
- Paperback | 304 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
- 14 May 2009
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
- 60 black and white halftone illustrations
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 *
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.
Table of contents
Preface ; 1. I Cannot Be Wrong ; 2. The Titan King ; 3. A Calm And Gentle Character ; 4. The Galileo Of France ; 5. Extreme Science ; 6. Robberies And Depredations ; 7. A Magnificent Military Sketch ; 8. Persons Well Versed ; 9. Very Expert In His Business ; 10. A Passage With My Horse ; 11. Frankenstein And Other Experiments ; 12. A Remarkable Hill ; 13. Important Observations ; 14. So Great A Noise ; 15. The Attraction of Mountains ; 16. The Best Of The Position ; 17. Distinguished Merit ; 18. Late A Whole Year ; 19. Geodetic Experiments ; 20. I Know It Will Answer ; 21. Offering Violence To Nature ; 22. A Meritorious Foreigner ; 23. Men Worthy Of Confidence ; 24. Irregularities We Have Discovered ; Explanations and Definitions