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

By Dava Sobel

Overview
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... View more
Binding Paperback
Pages 208 pages
Publisher Walker Books
Publication Date October 30, 2007
Language English
Dimensions 4.72 x 0.68 x 7.38 inches
ISBN-13 9780802715296

Product 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. 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.

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