world in the balance the historic quest for an absolute system of measurement

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World In The Balance The Historic Quest For An Absolute System Of Measurement

Author : Robert P. Crease
ISBN : 9780393082043
Genre : Science
File Size : 27. 47 MB
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The epic story of the invention of a global network of weights, scales, and instruments for measurement. Millions of transactions each day depend on a reliable network of weights and measures. This network has been called a greater invention than the steam engine, comparable only to the development of the printing press. Robert P. Crease traces the evolution of this international system from the use of flutes to measure distance in the dynasties of ancient China and figurines to weigh gold in West Africa to the creation of the French metric and British imperial systems. The former prevailed, with the United States one of three holdout nations. Into this captivating history Crease weaves stories of colorful individuals, including Thomas Jefferson, an advocate of the metric system, and American philosopher Charles S. Peirce, the first to tie the meter to the wavelength of light. Tracing the dynamic struggle for ultimate precision, World in the Balance demonstrates that measurement is both stranger and more integral to our lives than we ever suspected.

A Companion To The History Of Science

Author : Bernard Lightman
ISBN : 9781118620748
Genre : Science
File Size : 23. 39 MB
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The Wiley Blackwell Companion to the History of Science is a single volume companion that discusses the history of science as it is done today, providing a survey of the debates and issues that dominate current scholarly discussion, with contributions from leading international scholars. Provides a single-volume overview of current scholarship in the history of science edited by one of the leading figures in the field Features forty essays by leading international scholars providing an overview of the key debates and developments in the history of science Reflects the shift towards deeper historical contextualization within the field Helps communicate and integrate perspectives from the history of science with other areas of historical inquiry Includes discussion of non-Western themes which are integrated throughout the chapters Divided into four sections based on key analytic categories that reflect new approaches in the field

The Great Equations Breakthroughs In Science From Pythagoras To Heisenberg

Author : Robert P. Crease
ISBN : 9780393337938
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 84. 84 MB
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Shares behind-the-scenes stories for ten of the most significant equations in human history, covering a range of topics, from Feynman's statement about Maxwell's pivotal electromagnetic equations and the influence of Newton's law of gravitation to the reason Euler's formula has been called "God's equation" and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. 20,000 first printing.

Governing The World

Author : Mark Mazower
ISBN : 9781101595893
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 42. 36 MB
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The story of global cooperation between nations and peoples is a tale of dreamers goading us to find common cause in remedying humanity’s worst problems. But international institutions have also provided a tool for the powers that be to advance their own interests and stamp their imprint on the world. Mark Mazower’s Governing the World tells the epic story of that inevitable and irresolvable tension—the unstable and often surprising alchemy between ideas and power. From the beginning, the willingness of national leaders to cooperate has been spurred by crisis: the book opens in 1815, amid the rubble of the Napoleonic Empire, as the Concert of Europe was assembled with an avowed mission to prevent any single power from dominating the continent and to stamp out revolutionary agitation before it could lead to war. But if the Concert was a response to Napoleon, internationalism was a response to the Concert, and as courts and monarchs disintegrated they were replaced by revolutionaries and bureaucrats. 19th century internationalists included bomb-throwing anarchists and the secret policemen who fought them, Marxist revolutionaries and respectable free marketeers. But they all embraced nationalism, the age’s most powerful transformative political creed, and assumed that nationalism and internationalism would go hand in hand. The wars of the twentieth century saw the birth of institutions that enshrined many of those ideals in durable structures of authority, most notably the League of Nations in World War I and the United Nations after World War II. Throughout this history, we see that international institutions are only as strong as the great powers of the moment allow them to be. The League was intended to prop up the British empire. With Washington taking over world leadership from Whitehall, the United Nations became a useful extension of American power. But as Mazower shows us, from the late 1960s on, America lost control over the dialogue and the rise of the independent Third World saw a marked shift away from the United Nations and toward more pliable tools such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. From the 1990s to 2007, Governing the World centers on a new regime of global coordination built upon economic rule-making by central bankers and finance ministers, a regime in which the interests of citizens and workers are trumped by the iron logic of markets. Now, the era of Western dominance of international life is fast coming to an end and a new multi-centered global balance of forces is emerging. We are living in a time of extreme confusion about the purpose and durability of our international institutions. History is not prophecy, but Mark Mazower shows us why the current dialectic between ideals and power politics in the international arena is just another stage in an epic two-hundred-year story.

A Measure Of All Things

Author : Ian Whitelaw
ISBN : 0312370261
Genre : Reference
File Size : 76. 73 MB
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Discusses the origins of standard units of measurement and how they have changed from ancient times to modern day, and describes systems of measurement, including the metric and Imperial systems and the Systeme International.

Education By The Numbers And The Making Of Society

Author : Sverker Lindblad
ISBN : 9781351586085
Genre : Education
File Size : 57. 89 MB
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International statistical comparisons of nations have become commonplace in the contemporary landscape of education policy and social science. This book discusses the emergence of these international comparisons as a particular style of reasoning about education, society and science. By examining how international educational assessments have come to dominate much of contemporary policymaking concerning school system performance, the authors provide concrete case studies highlighting the preeminent role of numbers in furthering neoliberal education reform. Demonstrating how numbers serve as ‘rationales’ to shape and fashion social issues, this text opens new avenues for thinking about institutional and epistemological factors that produce and shape educational policy, research and schooling in transnational contexts.

The Measure Of All Things

Author : Ken Alder
ISBN : 9780743249027
Genre : History
File Size : 23. 8 MB
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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 Mismeasure Of Man Revised Expanded

Author : Stephen Jay Gould
ISBN : 9780393340402
Genre : Science
File Size : 61. 11 MB
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The definitive refutation to the argument of The Bell Curve. When published in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the ringing answer to those who would classify people, rank them according to their supposed genetic gifts and limits. And yet the idea of innate limits—of biology as destiny—dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."

World Order

Author : Henry Kissinger
ISBN : 9780698165724
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 44. 11 MB
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“Dazzling and instructive . . . [a] magisterial new book.” —Walter Isaacson, Time Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism. There has never been a true “world order,” Kissinger observes. For most of history, civilizations defined their own concepts of order. Each considered itself the center of the world and envisioned its distinct principles as universally relevant. China conceived of a global cultural hierarchy with the emperor at its pinnacle. In Europe, Rome imagined itself surrounded by barbarians; when Rome fragmented, European peoples refined a concept of an equilibrium of sovereign states and sought to export it across the world. Islam, in its early centuries, considered itself the world’s sole legitimate political unit, destined to expand indefinitely until the world was brought into harmony by religious principles. The United States was born of a conviction about the universal applicability of democracy—a conviction that has guided its policies ever since. Now international affairs take place on a global basis, and these historical concepts of world order are meeting. Every region participates in questions of high policy in every other, often instantaneously. Yet there is no consensus among the major actors about the rules and limits guiding this process or its ultimate destination. The result is mounting tension. Grounded in Kissinger’s deep study of history and his experience as national security advisor and secretary of state, World Order guides readers through crucial episodes in recent world history. Kissinger offers a unique glimpse into the inner deliberations of the Nixon administration’s negotiations with Hanoi over the end of the Vietnam War, as well as Ronald Reagan’s tense debates with Soviet Premier Gorbachev in Reykjavík. He offers compelling insights into the future of U.S.–China relations and the evolution of the European Union, and he examines lessons of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taking readers from his analysis of nuclear negotiations with Iran through the West’s response to the Arab Spring and tensions with Russia over Ukraine, World Order anchors Kissinger’s historical analysis in the decisive events of our time. Provocative and articulate, blending historical insight with geopolitical prognostication, World Order is a unique work that could come only from a lifelong policy maker and diplomat.

Longitude

Author : Dava Sobel
ISBN : 0802779433
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 27. 56 MB
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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.

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