Full Meridian of Glory: Perilous Adventures in the Competition to Measure the Earth

Springer Science & Business Media
6
Free sample

The Paris Meridian is the name of 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.

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, all enduring values – yet when the reception given to their own work was concerned 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 consisting of 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 honor and fame. One became the Head of State in France. Some found dangerous love in foreign countries. One scientist was 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 most important intellectual problems of the time, a problem of great interest to their fellow scientists all over the world- the theory of universal gravitation. They succeeded in their intellectual work while affecting politics and the affairs of state; their endeavours have left marks on the landscape, in art, and in literature still visible today.

Read more
Collapse

About the author

Paul Murdin is the Treasurer of the Royal Astronomical Society and Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University
Read more
Collapse
3.5
6 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Dec 25, 2008
Read more
Collapse
Pages
190
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780387755342
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Nature / Sky Observation
Science / Astronomy
Science / General
Science / History
Science / Physics / Astrophysics
Science / Physics / Geophysics
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
The bubbles were swirling all around me, massaging my body. As I luxuriated in this fantastic bath, I gasped realizing that those bubbles carried with them miniature galaxies bringing the entire Cosmos into my bathtub...

Alfie is back. And so are George and other characters from the author’s previous book Einstein’s Enigma or Black Holes in My Bubble Bath. While the present book, Universe Unveiled - The Cosmos in My Bubble Bath, is completely independent, its storyline can be considered a sequel to the previous one. The scientific content spanning ancient world models to the most recent mysteries of cosmology is presented in an entirely nontechnical and descriptive style through the discussions between Alfie, the enlightened learner, and George, professor of astrophysics. Fantasies, based on these discussions that cover the scientific facts, are created by the magical bubble baths taken by Alfie.

Universe Unveiled blends accurate science with philosophy, drama, humour, and fantasy to create an exciting cosmic journey that reads like a novel and educates as it entertains.

“Spurred by a series of mind-bending discoveries, Man’s millennial love affair with the stars has now reached fever pitch. No one writing today is better positioned to evoke the romance and beauty of these cosmic discoveries than Vishveshwara. A leading expert in Einstein’s relativity theory, he brings a lyrical voice and a poetic sensibility to this joyful task. Universe Unveiled, a unique literary creation, transports readers into believing they can actually hear the music of the spheres.”

Professor Robert Fuller, Former President, Oberlin College (USA)

Author of Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank

The Andromeda Galaxy – Messier’s M31 – has an almost romantic appeal. It is the most distant object and the only extragalactic object that is visible to the unaided human eye. Now known to be about 21⁄2 million light-years away, it appears in the sky to be several times the width of the full Moon under good seeing conditions. The Andromeda Galaxy and the Rise of Modern Astronomy examines the astronomical studies of Andromeda and its importance to our developing knowledge of the universe. The book discusses how M31 was described both by the Ancients, but more importantly, by astronomers from the nineteenth century to the present.

While at the start of the twentieth century the universe was thought of as a finite cosmos dominated by the Milky Way, the study of Andromeda galaxy shattered that image, leading ultimately to the conception of an infinite universe of countless galaxies and vast distances. Even today, M31 is a major focal point for new astronomical discoveries, and it also remains one of the most popular (and rewarding) celestial objects for amateur astronomers to observe and study. This book reveals the little-known history of M31 and the scientists who study it.

For all who are interested in astronomy, the skies, and perhaps even the origins of the universe, The Andromeda Galaxy and the Rise of Modern Astronomy provides a first-of-its-kind accessible, informative, and highly readable account of how the study and observation of this celestial object has driven the development of astronomy from ancient times to the present.

©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.