A Measure of Everything: An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Measurement

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Christopher Joseph, Adam Parfitt, Marcus Weeks, David Price
Firefly Books, 2005 - Science - 224 pages
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A comprehensive reference and history book on what is measured and why.

Measurement is one of humankind's oldest and most vital activities. By measuring height, speed, size, temperature, strength and many other factors, humans can compare, improve and progress. In fact, measurement is an essential tool for survival.

A Measure of Everything is a wide-ranging and comprehensive guide to what is measured and why.

The book begins when the basic measurements were as simple as more, less and enough. As societies evolved, relative measurements were no longer sufficient. Advances in language allowed more precise measurements. Short distances were measured in relation to parts of the human body. For example, the ancient measurement cubit was the length of a pharaoh's arm plus the width of his hand.

As society and culture progress and change, so do measurements. The rise of astronomy and the sciences demanded more exact measurements. These measurements are typically named after the discovering scientist, e.g., henry, curie, watt, rutherford, fahrenheit.

This book features 28 categories organized into three sections:

  • Earth and Life Sciences: astronomy, distance, time, meteorology, medicine, and five others.
  • Physical Sciences: chemistry, mathematics, physics, speed, weight, temperature, and three others.
  • Technology and Leisure: computers, engineering, finance, food, textiles, and four others.

A Measure of Everything is an informative and entertaining book that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

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About the author (2005)

Christopher Joseph studied Metallurgy and the Science of Materials at Trinity College, Oxford and is a member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. His published works range from scientific texts to historical articles.

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