Longitude

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802779434
Format: PDF, Docs
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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. The scientific establishment of Europe-from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton-had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, 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.

Longitude

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
ISBN: 0007382006
Format: PDF, ePub
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The dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest: the search for the solution of how to calculate longitude and the unlikely triumph of an English genius. With a Foreword by Neil Armstrong.

Longitude

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Sobel presents the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of John Harrison's 40-year obsession with building the perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer.

The Illustrated Longitude

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781439559321
Format: PDF, ePub
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Describes the forty-year effort of John Harrison to invent the chronometer, the first instrument able to keep accurate time for navigational purposes.

A More Perfect Heaven

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802778933
Format: PDF, ePub
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By 1514, the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand-copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory-in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun, not the earth, at the center of our universe, and set the earth spinning among the other planets. Over the next two decades, Copernicus expanded his theory through hundreds of observations, while compiling in secret a book-length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe. For fear of ridicule, he refused to publish. In 1539, a young German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, drawn by rumors of a revolution to rival the religious upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation, traveled to Poland to seek out Copernicus. Two years later, the Protestant youth took leave of his aging Catholic mentor and arranged to have Copernicus's manuscript published, in 1543, as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)-the book that forever changed humankind's place in the universe. In her elegant, compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles, as nobody has, the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution. At the heart of the book is her play And the Sun Stood Still, imagining Rheticus's struggle to convince Copernicus to let his manuscript see the light of day. As she achieved with her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel expands the bounds of narration, giving us an unforgettable portrait of scientific achievement, and of the ever-present tensions between science and faith.

The Planets

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0142001163
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Explores the creation and evolution of the solar system's planets through a lens of popular culture, drawing on sources from astrology, science fiction, the fine arts, and other genres to chronicle planetary history in an accessible format.

Galileo s Daughter

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802777478
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of Galileo's daughter, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has written a biography unlike any other of the man Albert Einstein called "the father of modern physics- indeed of modern science altogether." Galileo's Daughter also presents a stunning portrait of a person hitherto lost to history, described by her father as "a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and most tenderly attached to me." Galileo's Daughter dramatically recolors the personality and accomplishment of a mythic figure whose seventeenth-century clash with Catholic doctrine continues to define the schism between science and religion. Moving between Galileo's grand public life and Maria Celeste's sequestered world, Sobel illuminates the Florence of the Medicis and the papal court in Rome during the pivotal era when humanity's perception of its place in the cosmos was about to be overturned. In that same time, while the bubonic plague wreaked its terrible devastation and the Thirty Years' War tipped fortunes across Europe, one man sought to reconcile the Heaven he revered as a good Catholic with the heavens he revealed through his telescope. With all the human drama and scientific adventure that distinguished Dava Sobel's previous book Longitude, Galileo's Daughter is an unforgettable story

Discovery of Longitude The

Author: Joan Marie Galat
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 9781455616374
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Scientific discovery changes the world! Discover the fascinating story behind one of the most important changes to nautical navigation in this nonfiction book for young readers. More than 300 years ago, explorers wandered the seas using unreliable maps. What they needed to know was the longitude of their locations, but for that they needed accurate time keeping. Unfortunately, no accurate source of time measurement at sea existed. In 1714 the British government decided to offer a reward to anyone who could solve the problem. Learned men and great thinkers alike tried unsuccessfully to work out a solution. They declared it unsolvable! Carpenter John Harrison was intrigued; he thought he might have a solution. He worked for years to design a clock that functioned accurately at sea, even though no one believed he could do it. Even after his timepiece was demonstrated effective at sea, he was still not acknowledged for his ingenious solution. It took many years and intervention by the king to grant Harrison the recognition and reward he deserved for solving the problem of how to accurately track longitude and for winning the British government prize. The book offers a detailed map of the world at that time and includes the advancements in the use of longitude since then.

Ships Clocks and Stars

Author: Richard Dunn
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062357174
Format: PDF
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A tale of eighteenth-century invention and competition, commerce and conflict, this is a lively, illustrated, and accurate chronicle of the search to solve “the longitude problem,” the question of how to determine a ship’s position at sea—and one that changed the history of mankind. Ships, Clocks, and Stars brings into focus one of our greatest scientific stories: the search to accurately measure a ship’s position at sea. The incredible, illustrated volume reveals why longitude mattered to seafaring nations, illuminates the various solutions that were proposed and tested, and explores the invention that revolutionized human history and the man behind it, John Harrison. Here, too, are the voyages of Captain Cook that put these revolutionary navigational methods to the test. Filled with astronomers, inventors, politicians, seamen, and satirists, Ships, Clocks, and Stars explores the scientific, political, and commercial battles of the age, as well as the sailors, ships, and voyages that made it legend—from Matthew Flinders and George Vancouver to the voyages of the Bounty and the Beagle. Featuring more than 150 photographs specially commissioned from Britain’s National Maritime Museum, this evocative, detailed, and thoroughly fascinating history brings this age of exploration and enlightenment vividly to life.

The Glass Universe

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 069814869X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the "inspiring" (People), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy "A joy to read.” —The Wall Street Journal Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Economist, Smithsonian, Nature, and NPR's Science Friday Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.