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Latitude : how American astronomers solved the mystery of variation

Author: William E Carter; Merri Sue Carter
Publisher: Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, ©2002.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Nineteenth-century European astronomers tried for decades to explain the variations in their careful astronomical observations. But where the best minds in Europe failed, an intellectual upstart from America succeeded. In 1891 Seth Carlo Chandler Jr., an actuary for a Boston insurance company with no formal education in astronomy, shocked the international scientific community by announcing that he had solved the  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Carter, William E. (William Eugene), 1939-
Latitude.
Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, c2002
(OCoLC)624242680
Named Person: Seth Carlo Chandler; Simon Newcomb; Seth Carlo Chandler; Simon Newcomb; Seth Carlo Chandler; Simon Newcomb
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: William E Carter; Merri Sue Carter
ISBN: 1557500169 9781557500168
OCLC Number: 50041441
Description: 252 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Contents: Seth Chandler Jr.'s Youth --
Benjamin Apthorp Gould Jr. --
Gould, Chandler, and the U.S. Coast Survey --
Seth Chandler--Husband, Father, and Actuary --
Seth Chandler--Amateur Astronomer --
Inventing the Almucantar --
Simon Newcomb's Youth --
Newcomb's Years at the U.S. Naval Observatory --
Seth Chandler--Editor --
Searching in Vain --
Discovery --
Controversy --
Observation and Theory Reconciled --
Going Too Far?.
Responsibility: Bill Carter and Merri Sue Carter.

Abstract:

"Nineteenth-century European astronomers tried for decades to explain the variations in their careful astronomical observations. But where the best minds in Europe failed, an intellectual upstart from America succeeded. In 1891 Seth Carlo Chandler Jr., an actuary for a Boston insurance company with no formal education in astronomy, shocked the international scientific community by announcing that he had solved the problem and that an inexpensive instrument he had designed could detect the variation. Another American, Simon Newcomb, compounded the Europeans' embarrassment. Working at the U.S. Naval Observatory Newcomb validated Chandler's findings and reconciled the difference between his observations and accepted theory." "Chandler's discovery, dubbed "the Chandler Wobble," had profound significance to astronomers of the time and later played an important role in space exploration and the development of the revolutionary Global Positioning System (GPS). The authors, a father-daughter team of scientists, tell the story of Chandler's life and scientific works with the aid of private correspondence, documents, and family photographs. In recounting both the historical and dramatic human aspects of the story, they help readers appreciate how Chandler's achievements gave America credibility in the world of serious scientific research."--BOOK JACKET.

Table of Contents:

by mjcarter (WorldCat user on 2007-10-08)

Table of Contents Preface Prologue 1. Introduction 2. Seth Chandler Jr's Youth 3. Benjamin Apthorp Gould Jr. 4. Gould, Chandler, and the US Coast Survey 5. Seth Chandler - Husband, Father, and Actuary 6. Seth Chandler - Amateur Astronomer 7. Inventing the Almucantar 8. Simon Newcomb's Youth 9. Newcomb's Years athe US Naval Observatory 10. Seth Chandler - Editor 11. Searching in Vain 12. Discovery 13. Controversy 14. Observation and Theory Reconciled 15. Going Too Far? Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index

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schema:reviewBody""Nineteenth-century European astronomers tried for decades to explain the variations in their careful astronomical observations. But where the best minds in Europe failed, an intellectual upstart from America succeeded. In 1891 Seth Carlo Chandler Jr., an actuary for a Boston insurance company with no formal education in astronomy, shocked the international scientific community by announcing that he had solved the problem and that an inexpensive instrument he had designed could detect the variation. Another American, Simon Newcomb, compounded the Europeans' embarrassment. Working at the U.S. Naval Observatory Newcomb validated Chandler's findings and reconciled the difference between his observations and accepted theory." "Chandler's discovery, dubbed "the Chandler Wobble," had profound significance to astronomers of the time and later played an important role in space exploration and the development of the revolutionary Global Positioning System (GPS). The authors, a father-daughter team of scientists, tell the story of Chandler's life and scientific works with the aid of private correspondence, documents, and family photographs. In recounting both the historical and dramatic human aspects of the story, they help readers appreciate how Chandler's achievements gave America credibility in the world of serious scientific research."--BOOK JACKET."
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