Longitude

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

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Author: Dava Sobel

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9780802779434

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 208

View: 8151

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.

Longitude

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Author: Dava Sobel

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0007382006

Category: History

Page: 208

View: 6658

The dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest: the search for the solution of how to calculate longitude and the unlikely triumph of an English genius. With a Foreword by Neil Armstrong.

Longitude

the true story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time

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Author: Dava Sobel

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 184

View: 1181

Sobel presents the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of John Harrison's 40-year obsession with building the perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer.

Maphead

Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

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Author: Ken Jennings

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439167184

Category: Reference

Page: 304

View: 2800

Traces the history of mapmaking while offering insight into the role of cartography in human civilization and sharing anecdotes about the cultural arenas frequented by map enthusiasts.

A More Perfect Heaven

How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos

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Author: Dava Sobel

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 0802778933

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 2347

By 1514, the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand-copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory-in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun, not the earth, at the center of our universe, and set the earth spinning among the other planets. Over the next two decades, Copernicus expanded his theory through hundreds of observations, while compiling in secret a book-length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe. For fear of ridicule, he refused to publish. In 1539, a young German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, drawn by rumors of a revolution to rival the religious upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation, traveled to Poland to seek out Copernicus. Two years later, the Protestant youth took leave of his aging Catholic mentor and arranged to have Copernicus's manuscript published, in 1543, as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)-the book that forever changed humankind's place in the universe. In her elegant, compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles, as nobody has, the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution. At the heart of the book is her play And the Sun Stood Still, imagining Rheticus's struggle to convince Copernicus to let his manuscript see the light of day. As she achieved with her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel expands the bounds of narration, giving us an unforgettable portrait of scientific achievement, and of the ever-present tensions between science and faith.

Galileo's Daughter

A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love

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Author: Dava Sobel

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 0802779654

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 432

View: 9654

Presents a biography of the scientist through the surviving letters of his illegitimate daughter Maria Celeste, who wrote him from the Florence convent where she lived from the age of thirteen.

Navigation Through the Ages

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Author: Donald Launer

Publisher: Sheridan House, Inc.

ISBN: 1574092782

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 6080

Donald Launer has held a US Coast Guard captain's license for over 25 years. He was Field Editor for the yearly Waterway Guide and he is currently contributing editor for Good Old Boat. He is the author of Dictionary of Nautical Acronyms and Abbreviations and Lessons from My Good Old Boat.

The Glass Universe

How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars

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Author: Dava Sobel

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 069814869X

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 9643

New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the "inspiring" (People), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy "A joy to read.” —The Wall Street Journal Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Economist, Smithsonian, Nature, and NPR's Science Friday Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.

Ships, Clocks, and Stars

The Quest for Longitude

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Author: Richard Dunn,Rebekah Higgitt

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062357174

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 5680

A tale of eighteenth-century invention and competition, commerce and conflict, this is a lively, illustrated, and accurate chronicle of the search to solve “the longitude problem,” the question of how to determine a ship’s position at sea—and one that changed the history of mankind. Ships, Clocks, and Stars brings into focus one of our greatest scientific stories: the search to accurately measure a ship’s position at sea. The incredible, illustrated volume reveals why longitude mattered to seafaring nations, illuminates the various solutions that were proposed and tested, and explores the invention that revolutionized human history and the man behind it, John Harrison. Here, too, are the voyages of Captain Cook that put these revolutionary navigational methods to the test. Filled with astronomers, inventors, politicians, seamen, and satirists, Ships, Clocks, and Stars explores the scientific, political, and commercial battles of the age, as well as the sailors, ships, and voyages that made it legend—from Matthew Flinders and George Vancouver to the voyages of the Bounty and the Beagle. Featuring more than 150 photographs specially commissioned from Britain’s National Maritime Museum, this evocative, detailed, and thoroughly fascinating history brings this age of exploration and enlightenment vividly to life.

A Grand Complication

The Race to Build the World's Most Legendary Watch

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Author: Stacy Perman

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439190089

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 343

View: 379

"The race between two ambitious, complicated men in the early 1900s to create the most extravagant, complicated timepiece ever"--

Discovery of Longitude, The

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Author: Joan Marie Galat

Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9781455616374

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 32

View: 8069

Scientific discovery changes the world! Discover the fascinating story behind one of the most important changes to nautical navigation in this nonfiction book for young readers. More than 300 years ago, explorers wandered the seas using unreliable maps. What they needed to know was the longitude of their locations, but for that they needed accurate time keeping. Unfortunately, no accurate source of time measurement at sea existed. In 1714 the British government decided to offer a reward to anyone who could solve the problem. Learned men and great thinkers alike tried unsuccessfully to work out a solution. They declared it unsolvable! Carpenter John Harrison was intrigued; he thought he might have a solution. He worked for years to design a clock that functioned accurately at sea, even though no one believed he could do it. Even after his timepiece was demonstrated effective at sea, he was still not acknowledged for his ingenious solution. It took many years and intervention by the king to grant Harrison the recognition and reward he deserved for solving the problem of how to accurately track longitude and for winning the British government prize. The book offers a detailed map of the world at that time and includes the advancements in the use of longitude since then.

The Planets

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Author: Dava Sobel

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0142001163

Category: Science

Page: 276

View: 4020

Explores the creation and evolution of the solar system's planets through a lens of popular culture, drawing on sources from astrology, science fiction, the fine arts, and other genres to chronicle planetary history in an accessible format.

The Clockwork Universe

saac Newto, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern WorldI

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Author: Edward Dolnick

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062042262

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 6840

New York Times bestselling author Edward Dolnick brings to light the true story of one of the most pivotal moments in modern intellectual history—when a group of strange, tormented geniuses invented science as we know it, and remade our understanding of the world. Dolnick’s earth-changing story of Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the birth of modern science is at once an entertaining romp through the annals of academic history, in the vein of Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, and a captivating exploration of a defining time for scientific progress, in the tradition of Richard Holmes’ The Age of Wonder.

The Illustrated Longitude

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Author: Dava Sobel,William J. H. Andrewes

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781439559321

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 8103

Describes the forty-year effort of John Harrison to invent the chronometer, the first instrument able to keep accurate time for navigational purposes.

Longitude and Latitude, with Attitude

One Man's Quest to See the Entire World

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Author: Rufus McGaugh

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781976268724

Category:

Page: 302

View: 3509

Rufus McGaugh knew early on that he wanted to see the world-all of it. And, later on, he did just that. Longitude and Latitude, with Attitude chronicles Rufus's 49 years of travels around the globe to every country in the world. It relates his experiences, both harrowing and humorous, in entertaining and amusing (sometimes even instructive!) vignettes. Rufus, a Vietnam vet who was awarded the Purple Heart in 1970, became a Vietnam vet against the war, got a college degree, and taught social studies at Brownell Middle School in the affluent Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe for 39 years. During that time-and before and after-he spent his summers, vacations, and retirement fulfilling a life-long dream to travel to every corner of the Earth. He has visited countries near and far, well known and obscure (including the closed regimes of North Korea and Libya). He has met interesting people, seen fascinating sights, and observed unusual events. He has been hassled by the authorities in Russia (twice in one day). He was arrested-and later stalked by a leopard-in Zimbabwe. He met Miss America (well, Miss South Carolina) in Vietnam, outfoxed (or so he thought) a tailor in Hong Kong, and broke both arms bicycling in Cuba. Longitude and Latitude, with Attitude is the unpretentious, often comic, frequently informative chronicle of these and other adventures and misadventures he experienced on his journeys. Other wanderers like him-and armchair travelers everywhere-will be captivated by it. The lively writing is supplemented by more than 50 pictures that inveterate photographer Rufus has taken in the course of his trips.

Sextant

A Young Man's Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who Mapped the World's Oceans

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Author: David Barrie

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 006227936X

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 3559

In the tradition of Dava Sobel's Longitude comes sailing expert David Barrie's compelling and dramatic tale of invention and discovery—an eloquent elegy to one of the most important navigational instruments ever created, and the daring mariners who used it to explore, conquer, and map the world. Since its invention in 1759, a mariner's most prized possession has been the sextant. A navigation tool that measures the angle between a celestial object and the horizon, the sextant allowed sailors to pinpoint their exact location at sea. David Barrie chronicles the sextant's development and shows how it not only saved the lives of navigators in wild and dangerous seas, but played a pivotal role in their ability to map the globe. He synthesizes centuries of seafaring history and the daring sailors who have become legend, including James Cook, Matthew Flinders, Robert Fitz-Roy, Frank Worsley of the Endurance, and Joshua Slocum, the redoubtable old "lunarian" and first single-handed-round-the-world yachtsman. He also recounts his own maiden voyage, and insights gleaned from his experiences as a practiced seaman and navigator. Full of heroism, danger, and excitement, told with an infectious sense of wonder, Sextant offers a new look at a masterful achievement that changed the course of history.

Genghis Khan

His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy

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Author: Frank McLynn

Publisher: Da Capo Press

ISBN: 0306823969

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 704

View: 5955

Mongol leader Genghis Khan was by far the greatest conqueror the world has ever known. His empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to central Europe, including all of China, the Middle East, and Russia. So how did an illiterate nomad rise to such colossal power and subdue most of the known world, eclipsing Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Napoleon? Credited by some with paving the way for the Renaissance, condemned by others for being the most heinous murderer in history, who was Genghis Khan? His actual name was Temujin, and the story of his success is that of the Mongol people: a loose collection of fractious tribes who tended livestock, considered bathing taboo, and possessed an unparalleled genius for horseback warfare. United under Genghis, a strategist of astonishing cunning and versatility, they could dominate any sedentary society they chose. Combining fast-paced accounts of battles with rich cultural background and the latest scholarship, Frank McLynn brings vividly to life the strange world of the Mongols, describes Temujin's rise from boyhood outcast to becoming Genghis Khan, and provides the most accurate and absorbing account yet of one of the most powerful men ever to have lived.

Shaping the Day

A History of Timekeeping in England and Wales 1300-1800

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Author: Paul Glennie,Nigel Thrift

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191608521

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 3764

Timekeeping is an essential activity in the modern world, and we take it for granted that our lives are shaped by the hours of the day. Yet what seems so ordinary today is actually the extraordinary outcome of centuries of technical innovation and circulation of ideas about time. Shaping the Day is a pathbreaking study of the practice of timekeeping in England and Wales between 1300 and 1800. Drawing on many unique historical sources, ranging from personal diaries to housekeeping manuals, Paul Glennie and Nigel Thrift illustrate how a particular kind of common sense about time came into being, and how it developed during this period. Many remarkable figures make their appearance, ranging from the well-known, such as Edmund Halley, Samuel Pepys, and John Harrison, who solved the problem of longitude, to less familiar characters, including sailors, gamblers, and burglars. Overturning many common perceptions of the past-for example, that clock time and the industrial revolution were intimately related-this unique historical study will engage all readers interested in how 'telling the time' has come to dominate our way of life.

Mason Dixon

Basketball Disasters

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Author: Claudia Mills

Publisher: Yearling Books

ISBN: 0375872760

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 176

View: 6389

Fourth-grader Mason struggles to enjoy playing basketball after his best friend persuades him to join a team, and learns that the dog-hating lady next door is not so bad after all.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

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Author: William Kamkwamba,Bryan Mealer

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 006193769X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 323

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is the immensely engaging and inspiring true account of an enterprising African teenager who constructed a windmill from scraps to create electricity for his entire community. William Kamkwamba shares the remarkable story of his youth in Malawi, Africa—a nation crippled by intense poverty, famine, and the AIDS plague—and how, with tenacity and imagination, he built a better life for himself, his family, and his village. The poignant and uplifting story of Kamkwamba’s inspiration and personal triumph, co-written with Bryan Mealer, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind has already won ringing praise from former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore as well as Paolo Coelho, internationally bestselling author of The Alchemist.