The Resource The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world, Ken Alder, (electronic resource)

The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world, Ken Alder, (electronic resource)

Label
The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world
Title
The measure of all things
Title remainder
the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world
Statement of responsibility
Ken Alder
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Language
eng
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 history's greatest scientific quests, a mission to measure the Earth and define the meter for all nations and for all time. Yet when Ken Alder located the long-lost correspondence between the two men, along with their mission logbooks, he stumbled upon a two-hundred-year-old secret, and a drama worthy of the great French playwrights. The meter, it turns out, is in error. One of the two astronomers, Pierre-Francois-Andre Mechain, made contradictory measurements from Barcelona and, in a panic, covered up the discrepancy. The guilty knowledge of his misdeed drove him to the brink of madness, and ultimately to his death. Only then -- after the meter had already been publicly announced -- did his partner, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre, discover the truth and face a fateful choice: what matters more, the truth or the appearance of the truth? To tell the story, Alder has not only worked in archives throughout Europe and America, but also bicycled the entire route traveled by Delambre and Mechain. Both a novelist and a prizewinning historian of science and the French Revolution, Alder summons all his skills to tell how the French Revolution mixed violent passion with the coldest sanity to produce our modern world. It was a time when scientists believed they could redefine the foundations of space and time, creating a thirty-day month, a ten-day week, and a ten-hour day. History, they declared, was to begin anew. But in the end, it was science that was forever changed. The measurements brought back by Delambre and Mechain not only made science into a global enterprise and made possible our global economy, but also revolutionized our understanding of error. Where Mechain conceived of error as a personal failure, his successors learned to tame it. This, then, is a story of two men, a secret, and a timeless human dilemma: is it permissible to perpetuate a small lie in the service of a larger truth? "Precision is a quest on which travelers, as Zeno foretold, journey halfway to their destination, and then halfway again and again and again, never reaching finality. In The Measure of All Things Ken Alder describes a quest that succeeded even as it failed. It is a story for all people, for all time
Accompanying matter
technical information on music
Cataloging source
Midwest
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Alder, Ken
Form of composition
not applicable
Format of music
not applicable
Literary text for sound recordings
other
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
hoopla digital
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Arc measures
  • Meter (Unit)
  • Metric system
  • Astronomers
Target audience
adult
Transposition and arrangement
not applicable
Label
The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world, Ken Alder, (electronic resource)
Link
https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11512908
Instantiates
Publication
Antecedent source
unknown
Capture and storage technique
digital storage
Color
not applicable
Configuration of playback channels
unknown
Control code
MWT11512908
Dimensions
  • not applicable
  • unknown
Edition
Abridged.
Extent
1 online resource (1 audio file (360 min.))
File format
unknown
Form of item
  • online
  • electronic
Governing access note
Digital content provided by hoopla
Groove width / pitch
not applicable
Kind of cutting
not applicable
Kind of disc cylinder or tape
not applicable
Kind of material
unknown
Level of compression
unknown
Other physical details
digital.
Publisher number
MWT11512908
Quality assurance targets
unknown
Reformatting quality
access
Sound
sound
Special playback characteristics
digital recording
Specific material designation
  • other
  • remote
Speed
other
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Tape configuration
not applicable
Tape width
not applicable
Label
The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world, Ken Alder, (electronic resource)
Link
https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11512908
Publication
Antecedent source
unknown
Capture and storage technique
digital storage
Color
not applicable
Configuration of playback channels
unknown
Control code
MWT11512908
Dimensions
  • not applicable
  • unknown
Edition
Abridged.
Extent
1 online resource (1 audio file (360 min.))
File format
unknown
Form of item
  • online
  • electronic
Governing access note
Digital content provided by hoopla
Groove width / pitch
not applicable
Kind of cutting
not applicable
Kind of disc cylinder or tape
not applicable
Kind of material
unknown
Level of compression
unknown
Other physical details
digital.
Publisher number
MWT11512908
Quality assurance targets
unknown
Reformatting quality
access
Sound
sound
Special playback characteristics
digital recording
Specific material designation
  • other
  • remote
Speed
other
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Tape configuration
not applicable
Tape width
not applicable

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