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


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

Paperback Published: 1st November 2007
ISBN: 9780802715296
Number Of Pages: 184

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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. 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 clock making, and opens a new window on our world.

About the Author

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

Industry Reviews

Praise for "Longitude"

‘This is a gem of a book.’- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

‘A simple tale, brilliantly told.’- Washington Post Book World

‘As much a tale of intrigue as it is of science...A book full of gems for anyone interested in history, geography, astronomy, navigation, clock making, and - not the least - plain old human ambition and greed.’ Philadelphia Inquirer

‘Only someone with Dava Sobel's unusual background in both astronomy and psychology could have written it. "Longitude" is a wonderful story, wonderfully told.’ Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses

‘The marine chronometer is a glorious and fascinating object, but it is not a simple one, and its explanation calls for a writer as skilled with words as the watchmakers were with their tools; happily such a writer has been found in Dava Sobel.’ Patrick O'Brian, author of The Commodore and the Aubrey/Maturin series

ISBN: 9780802715296
ISBN-10: 080271529X
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 1st November 2007
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 18.75 x 11.84  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.2

Earn 45 Qantas Points
on this Book