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The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world

Author: Ken Alder
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2003.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Amidst the chaos of the French Revolution, two intrepid astronomers set out in opposite directions from Paris to measure the world, one voyaging north to Dunkirk, the other south to Barcelona. Their findings would help define the meter as one ten-millionth of the distance between the pole and the equator, a standard that has since swept the planet. The Measure of All Things is the astonishing story of one of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: J B J Delambre; Pierre Méchain; J B J Delambre; Pierre Méchain
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Ken Alder
ISBN: 0743216768 9780743216760
OCLC Number: 53324804
Description: xii, 436 pages : illustrations, maps ; 225 cm
Contents: Ch. 1. The north-going astronomer --
Ch. 2. The south-going astronomer --
Ch. 3. The metric of revolution --
Ch. 4. The castle of Mont-Jouy --
Ch. 5. A calculating people --
Ch. 6. Fear of France --
Ch. 7. Convergence --
Ch. 8. Triangulation --
Ch. 9. The empire of science --
Ch. 10. The broken arc --
Ch. 11. Méchain's mistake, Delambre's peace --
Ch. 12. The metered globe --
Epilogue: The shape of our world.
Responsibility: Ken Alder.
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In this "entirely enthralling and beautifully written book" (Simon Winchester), Alder tells the story of how science, revolutionary politics, and the dream of a new economy converged to produce the  Read more...

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The New York Times Book Review Passes a central test of any popular work of history: it bathes the past in the light, life, and humanity of the eternal present. The Philadelphia Inquirer One of those Read more...

 
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