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

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jul 5, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
The dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of one man's forty-year obsession to find a solution to the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day--"the longitude problem."

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

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The subtitle here tells the reader exactly what the book is about; what it doesn't say is how much fun it is to read. The Greek astronomers could measure latitude as early as the third century b.c ... Read full review

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Highly Recommended. A most fascinating read! I happened upon it at a used book store and I was blown away by Dava Sobel's ability to make a scientific subject come alive; it was like reading a novel!

Contents

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Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Dana Sobel is the bestselling author of Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, co-author of The Illustrated Longitude, and editor of Letters to Father. She lives in East Hampton, New York.

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