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  • ISBN: 9780060195182
  • ISBN10: 0060195185

The Great ARC: a Dramatic Tale of Science and Adventure

by Keay, John

  • List Price: $24.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publish date: 12/01/1999
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Description: Begun in 1802, the magnificently conceived project of measuring a meridian, or longitudinal arc, up through nearly 2,000 miles of jungle, desert, and flood-plain, from the southern tip of India to the frozen wastes of the Himalayas, captured the imagination of a science-mad century. The Great Arc of the Meridian would be the longest inch-perfect measurement of the face of the globe ever attempted. Scientists and surveyors faced horrendous technical challenges and impossible physical demands as they attempted to discover the precise curvature of the earth and, at the same time, provide a basis for the mapping of south Asia. The Arc would also culminate in an unintended but even more sensational discovery: that of the highest mountain in the world. Led by two eccentric British military officers -- William Lambton, who died before the project was completed, and George Everest, who identified and measured the height of the peak eventually named for him -- this extraordinary endeavor, a forgotten episode in the history of science, is told here for the first time.
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