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The Measure of All Things

The Measure of All Things Author Ken Alder
ISBN-10 9780743249027
Release 2014-07-29
Pages 432
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In June 1792, amidst the chaos of the French Revolution, two intrepid astronomers set out in opposite directions on an extraordinary journey. Starting in Paris, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre would make his way north to Dunkirk, while Pierre-François-André Méchain voyaged south to Barcelona. Their mission was to measure the world, and their findings would help define the meter as one ten-millionth of the distance between the pole and the equator—a standard that would be used “for all people, for all time.” The Measure of All Things is the astonishing tale of one of history’s greatest scientific adventures. Yet behind the public triumph of the metric system lies a secret error, one that is perpetuated in every subsequent definition of the meter. As acclaimed historian and novelist Ken Alder discovered through his research, there were only two people on the planet who knew the full extent of this error: Delambre and Méchain themselves. By turns a science history, detective tale, and human drama, The Measure of All Things describes a quest that succeeded as it failed—and continues to enlighten and inspire to this day.



The Measure of All Things

The Measure of All Things Author Ken Alder
ISBN-10 0743216768
Release 2003-10-01
Pages 448
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The story of the creation of the metric system in 1792 traces the endeavors of Delambre and Mechain, the backlash of superstitious contemporaries, and the mistake that drove Mechain to the brink of madness.



The Measure of All Things

The Measure of All Things Author Ken Alder
ISBN-10 9780743216753
Release 2002
Pages 422
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The story of the creation of the metric system in 1792 traces the endeavors of Delambre and Mâechain, the backlash of superstitious contemporaries, and the mistake that drove Mâechain to the brink of madness.



World in the Balance The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement

World in the Balance  The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement Author Robert P. Crease
ISBN-10 9780393072983
Release 2011-10-24
Pages 317
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The Meter of Archives, a simple, unadorned stick, has ruled an international network of measures for almost a century. How did such an unprepossessing object come to such importance? Crease follows the evolution of our system of measurement from countless disparate systems that arose from local resources and practices to their consolidation into a single network, the 'International System of Units' (SI). World in the Balance is organized chronologically: Crease begins with body measures (the practice of using parts of our own body to improvise measures) and moves through the creation of the metric system in the wake of the French Revolution and the codification of units inherited from the Romans into a second system, the Imperial System of Great Britain. Crease ends with the quest for ultimate precision and efforts to exchange the kilogram, currently a man-made simple metal cylinder slightly over 2 inches high, for an absolute standard in nature (e.g., atoms). Much as he did in The Great Equations, Crease centers each chapter on a dramatic, defining moment in this sweeping history and the colorful characters who took on the struggle to create an invisible but essential network to connect international commerce and scientific laboratories all over the world. We encounter a West African student whose research on the Akan ethnic group leads to the discovery that their currency system relies on weighing gold dust. We met Charles S. Peirce, an eccentric American scientist, who was the first to tie a unit, the meter, to an absolute standard (the wavelength of light). And we see how a piece of artwork by Marcel Duchamp attempts to sabotage the rationality of the meter. Along the way, readers are treated to 'interludes' on topics ranging from how the Great Pyramid of Egypt was a contender for a metrological standard to 'moctrology,' the practice of making fun of units and measures.



Engineering the Revolution

Engineering the Revolution Author Ken Alder
ISBN-10 9780226012650
Release 2010-04-15
Pages 496
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Engineering the Revolution documents the forging of a new relationship between technology and politics in Revolutionary France, and the inauguration of a distinctively modern form of the “technological life.” Here, Ken Alder rewrites the history of the eighteenth century as the total history of one particular artifact—the gun—by offering a novel and historical account of how material artifacts emerge as the outcome of political struggle. By expanding the “political” to include conflict over material objects, this volume rethinks the nature of engineering rationality, the origins of mass production, the rise of meritocracy, and our interpretation of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.



The Lie Detectors

The Lie Detectors Author Ken Alder
ISBN-10 0803224591
Release 2009
Pages 334
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In this fascinating history of the lie detector, Ken Alder exposes some persistent truths about our culture: why we long to know the secret thoughts of our fellow citizens; why we believe in popular science; and why we embrace ?truthiness.? For centuries people searched in vain for a way to unmask liars, seeking clues in the body?s outward signs: in blushing cheeks and shifty eyes. Not until the 1920s did a cop with a PhD team up with an entrepreneurial high school student and claim to have invented a foolproof machine capable of peering directly into the human heart. Scientists repudiated the technique, and judges banned its results from criminal trials, but in a few years their polygraph had transformed police work, seized headlines, and enthralled the nation.ø In this book, Alder explains why America?and only America?has embraced this mechanical method of reading the human soul. Over the course of the twentieth century, the lie detector became integral to our justice system, employment markets, and national security apparatus, transforming each into a game of bluff and bluster. The lie detector device may not reliably read the human mind, but this lively account shows that the instrument?s history offers a unique window into the American soul.



Full Meridian of Glory

Full Meridian of Glory Author Paul Murdin
ISBN-10 0387755349
Release 2008-12-25
Pages 190
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[the text below needs editing and we must be careful not to say things about Dan Brown's book that could get Springer in legal trouble] Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, was first published in 2003; its sales have reached 40 million worldwide. The book mixes a small spice of fact into a large dollop of fiction to create an entertaining novel of intrigue, adventure, romance, danger and conspiracy, which have been imaginatively worked together to cook up the successful bestseller. Most interest in the book’s origins has centred on the sensational religious aspects. Dan Brown has written: ‘All of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies, all of that is historical fact.’ This gives an air of authenticity to the book. Brown has, however, made up the religious doctrines, or based them on questionable accounts by others. The locations of the actions of The Da Vinci Code are not, however, made up. The present book is the scientific story behind the scene of several of the book’s actions that take place on the axis of France that passes through Paris. The Paris Meridian is the name of this location. It is the line running north-south through the astronomical observatory in Paris. One of the original intentions behind the founding of the Paris Observatory was to determine and measure this line. The French government financed the Paris Academy of Sciences to do so in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. It employed both astronomers – people who study and measure the stars – and geodesists – people who study and measure the Earth. This book is about what they did and why. It is a true story behind Dan Brown’s fiction. This is the first English language presentation of this historical material. It is attractively written and it features the story of the community of scientists who created the Paris Meridian. They knew each other well – some were members of the same families, in one case of four generations. Like scientists everywhere they collaborated and formed alliances; they also split into warring factions and squabbled. They travelled to foreign countries, somehow transcending the national and political disputes, as scientists do now, their eyes fixed on ideas of accuracy, truth and objective, enduring values – save where the reception given to their own work is concerned, when some became blind to high ideals and descended into petty politics. To establish the Paris Meridian, the scientists endured hardship, survived danger and gloried in amazing adventures during a time of turmoil in Europe, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic War between France and Spain. Some were accused of witchcraft. Some of their associates lost their heads on the guillotine. Some died of disease. Some won honour and fame. One became the Head of State in France, albeit for no more than a few weeks. Some found dangerous love in foreign countries. One scientist killed in self defence when attacked by a jealous lover, another was himself killed by a jealous lover, a third brought back a woman to France and then jilted her, whereupon she joined a convent. The scientists worked on practical problems of interest to the government and to the people. They also worked on one of the important intellectual problems of the time, a problem of great interest to their fellow scientists all over the world, nothing less than the theory of universal gravitation. They succeeded in their intellectual work, while touching politics and the affairs of state. Their endeavours have left their marks on the landscape, in art and in literature.



Einstein s Clocks and Poincare s Maps Empires of Time

Einstein s Clocks and Poincare s Maps  Empires of Time Author Peter Galison
ISBN-10 9780393243864
Release 2004-09-17
Pages 400
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"More than a history of science; it is a tour de force in the genre."—New York Times Book Review A dramatic new account of the parallel quests to harness time that culminated in the revolutionary science of relativity, Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps is "part history, part science, part adventure, part biography, part meditation on the meaning of modernity....In Galison's telling of science, the meters and wires and epoxy and solder come alive as characters, along with physicists, engineers, technicians and others....Galison has unearthed fascinating material" (New York Times). Clocks and trains, telegraphs and colonial conquest: the challenges of the late nineteenth century were an indispensable real-world background to the enormous theoretical breakthrough of relativity. And two giants at the foundations of modern science were converging, step-by-step, on the answer: Albert Einstein, an young, obscure German physicist experimenting with measuring time using telegraph networks and with the coordination of clocks at train stations; and the renowned mathematician Henri Poincaré, president of the French Bureau of Longitude, mapping time coordinates across continents. Each found that to understand the newly global world, he had to determine whether there existed a pure time in which simultaneity was absolute or whether time was relative. Esteemed historian of science Peter Galison has culled new information from rarely seen photographs, forgotten patents, and unexplored archives to tell the fascinating story of two scientists whose concrete, professional preoccupations engaged them in a silent race toward a theory that would conquer the empire of time.



World in the Balance The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement

World in the Balance  The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement Author Robert P. Crease
ISBN-10 9780393072983
Release 2011-10-24
Pages 317
Download Link Click Here

The Meter of Archives, a simple, unadorned stick, has ruled an international network of measures for almost a century. How did such an unprepossessing object come to such importance? Crease follows the evolution of our system of measurement from countless disparate systems that arose from local resources and practices to their consolidation into a single network, the 'International System of Units' (SI). World in the Balance is organized chronologically: Crease begins with body measures (the practice of using parts of our own body to improvise measures) and moves through the creation of the metric system in the wake of the French Revolution and the codification of units inherited from the Romans into a second system, the Imperial System of Great Britain. Crease ends with the quest for ultimate precision and efforts to exchange the kilogram, currently a man-made simple metal cylinder slightly over 2 inches high, for an absolute standard in nature (e.g., atoms). Much as he did in The Great Equations, Crease centers each chapter on a dramatic, defining moment in this sweeping history and the colorful characters who took on the struggle to create an invisible but essential network to connect international commerce and scientific laboratories all over the world. We encounter a West African student whose research on the Akan ethnic group leads to the discovery that their currency system relies on weighing gold dust. We met Charles S. Peirce, an eccentric American scientist, who was the first to tie a unit, the meter, to an absolute standard (the wavelength of light). And we see how a piece of artwork by Marcel Duchamp attempts to sabotage the rationality of the meter. Along the way, readers are treated to 'interludes' on topics ranging from how the Great Pyramid of Egypt was a contender for a metrological standard to 'moctrology,' the practice of making fun of units and measures.



The Pendulum Paradigm

The Pendulum Paradigm Author Martin Beech
ISBN-10 9781612337302
Release 2014
Pages 290
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The pendulum is perhaps the simplest experimental devices ever constructed, and yet for all its simplicity it has historically enabled scientists to both investigate and enumerate gravity; the fundamental force that shapes the very universe. The pendulum has also allowed astronomers and geologists to measure the motion, mass and distribution of matter within the Earth, and its stately swing is at the very heartbeat of time. This book explores the many applications of the pendulum, from its employment as a fundamental experimental device, such as in the Cavendish torsion balance for measuring the universal gravitational constant, to its everyday, practical use in geology, astronomy and horology.



100 Maps

100 Maps Author John Owen Edward Clark
ISBN-10 9781402728853
Release 2005
Pages 256
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Presents a chronological overview of the history of cartography, from the earliest maps of prehistory to the engraved maps of the seventeenth century and beyond. Includes illustrations.



Structural Lie

Structural Lie Author Charles C. Lemert
ISBN-10 9781317251347
Release 2015-12-22
Pages 256
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The Structural Lie tackles one of social science's most mysterious problems. How is it possible to derive statements about the grand structures of social life from their effects in the small movements of everyday life? Prominent sociologist Charles Lemert shows how Marx and Freud provide some answers to this question. Marx derived from the commodity his picture of the capitalist system, Freud diagnosed the character of psyches from the details of dreams, slips and jokes. This wonderfully readable and engaging book lays the foundation for a new social science in an age where a microchip can convey a world of information.



Trajectories in the Development of Modern School Systems

Trajectories in the Development of Modern School Systems Author Daniel Tröhler
ISBN-10 9781317448167
Release 2015-05-15
Pages 294
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As contemporary education becomes increasingly tied to global economic power, national school systems attempting to influence one another inevitably confront significant tensions caused by differences in heritage, politics, and formal structures. Trajectories in the Development of Modern School Systems provides a comprehensive theoretical and empirical critique of the reform movements that seek to homogenize schooling around the world. Informed by historical and sociological insight into a variety of nations and eras, these in-depth case studies reveal how and why sweeping, convergent reform agendas clash with specific institutional policies, practices, and curricula. Countering current theoretical models which fail to address the potential pressures born from these challenging isomorphic developments, this book illuminates the cultural idiosyncrasies that both produce and problematize global reform efforts and offers a new way of understanding curriculum as a manifestation of national identity.



Essential Astrophysics

Essential Astrophysics Author Kenneth R. Lang
ISBN-10 9783642359637
Release 2013-05-24
Pages 635
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Essential Astrophysics is a book to learn or teach from, as well as a fundamental reference volume for anyone interested in astronomy and astrophysics. It presents astrophysics from basic principles without requiring any previous study of astronomy or astrophysics. It serves as a comprehensive introductory text, which takes the student through the field of astrophysics in lecture-sized chapters of basic physical principles applied to the cosmos. This one-semester overview will be enjoyed by undergraduate students with an interest in the physical sciences, such as astronomy, chemistry, engineering or physics, as well as by any curious student interested in learning about our celestial science. The mathematics required for understanding the text is on the level of simple algebra, for that is all that is needed to describe the fundamental principles. The text is of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare the interested student for more advanced specialised courses in the future. Astronomical examples are provided throughout the text, to reinforce the basic concepts and physics, and to demonstrate the use of the relevant formulae. In this way, the student learns to apply the fundamental equations and principles to cosmic objects and situations. Astronomical and physical constants and units as well as the most fundamental equations can be found in the appendix. Essential Astrophysics goes beyond the typical textbook by including references to the seminal papers in the field, with further reference to recent applications, results, or specialised literature.



Sea of Glory

Sea of Glory Author Nathaniel Philbrick
ISBN-10 1440649103
Release 2004-10-26
Pages 480
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"A treasure of a book."—David McCullough A New York Times Notable Book America's first frontier was not the West; it was the sea, and no one writes more eloquently about that watery wilderness than Nathaniel Philbrick. In his bestselling In the Heart of the Sea Philbrick probed the nightmarish dangers of the vast Pacific. Now, in an epic sea adventure, he writes about one of the most ambitious voyages of discovery the Western world has ever seen—the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. On a scale that dwarfed the journey of Lewis and Clark, six magnificent sailing vessels and a crew of hundreds set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean and ended up naming the newly discovered continent of Antarctica, collecting what would become the basis of the Smithsonian Institution. Combining spellbinding human drama and meticulous research, Philbrick reconstructs the dark saga of the voyage to show why, instead of being celebrated and revered as that of Lewis and Clark, it has—until now—been relegated to a footnote in the national memory. Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize



Pendulum

Pendulum Author Amir D. Aczel
ISBN-10 1416588434
Release 2007-11-01
Pages 288
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In 1851, struggling, self-taught physicist Léon Foucault performed a dramatic demonstration inside the Panthéon in Paris. By tracking a pendulum's path as it swung repeatedly across the interior of the large ceremonial hall, Foucault offered the first definitive proof -- before an audience that comprised the cream of Parisian society, including the future emperor, Napoleon III -- that the earth revolves on its axis. Through careful, primary research, world-renowned author Amir Aczel has revealed the life of a gifted physicist who had almost no formal education in science, and yet managed to succeed despite the adversity he suffered at the hands of his peers. The range and breadth of Foucault's discoveries is astonishing: He gave us the modern electric compass, devised an electric microscope, invented photographic technology, and made remarkable deductions about color theory, heat waves, and the speed of light. Yet until now so little has been known about his life. Richly detailed and evocative, Pendulum tells of the illustrious period in France during the Second Empire; of Foucault's relationship with Napoleon III, a colorful character in his own right; and -- most notably -- of the crucial triumph of science over religion. Dr. Aczel has crafted a fascinating narrative based on the life of this most astonishing and largely unrecognized scientist, whose findings answered many age-old scientific questions and posed new ones that are still relevant today.



Longitude

Longitude Author Dava Sobel
ISBN-10 0802779433
Release 2010-07-05
Pages 208
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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.