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

ISBN-10: 0802713122

ISBN-13: 9780802713124

Edition: 1995

Authors: Dava Sobel

List price: $19.00
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Description:

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 scientific establishment of 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, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
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Book details

List price: $19.00
Copyright year: 1995
Publisher: Walker & Company
Publication date: 11/1/1995
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Size: 4.50" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Dava Sobel is an American writer who was born in the Bronx, New York, on June 15, 1947. Her books are generally written about the popular science genre and include these titles: Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time (about English clockmaker John Harrison who created the first chronometer); Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love; The Planets, and A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos. Sobel graduated from The Bronx High School of Science and Binghamton University. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath, and Middlebury College, Vermont, both awarded in 2002. The asteroid 30935 Davasobel is named after her. Sobel is also a former New York Times science reporter and has contributed articles to Audubon, Discover, Life and The New Yorker. She was a contributing editor to Harvard Magazine, writing about scientific research and the history of science.

Acknowledgments
Imaginary Lines
The Sea Before Time
Adrift in a Clockwork Universe
Time in a Bottle
Powder of Sympathy
The Prize
Cogmaker's Journal
The Grasshopper Goes to Sea
Hands on Heaven's Clock
The Diamond Timekeeper
Trial by Fire and Water
A Tale of Two Portraits
The Second Voyage of Captain James Cook
The Mass Production of Genius
In the Meridian Courtyard
Sources
Index
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