Coverart for item
The Resource The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world, Ken Alder

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

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
Title variation
7 year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
In June 1792, the erudite and cosmopolitan Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre and the cautious and scrupulous Pierre-Francois-Andre Mechain set out from Paris -- one north to Dunkirk, the other south to Barcelona to calculate the length of the meter. In the face of death threats from village revolutionary councils, superstitious peasants, and civil war, they had only their wits and their letters to each other for support. Their findings would be used to create what we now know as the metric system. Despite their painstaking and Herculean efforts, Mechain made a mistake in his calculations that he covered up. The guilty knowledge of his error drove him to the brink of madness, and in the end, he died in an attempt to correct himself. Only then was his mistake discovered. Delambre decided to seal all evidence of the error in a vault at the Paris Observatory. Two hundred year later, historian Ken Alder discovered the truth. With scintillating prose and wry wit, Alder uses these previously overlooked letters, diaries, and journals to bring to life a remarkable time when everything was open to question and the light of reason made every dream seem possible
Writing style
Award
  • Library Journal Best Books, 2002.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2002
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
158319
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Alder, Ken
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Delambre, J. B. J.
  • Méchain, Pierre
  • Arc measures
  • Meter (Unit)
  • Truthfulness and falsehood
  • Errors, Scientific
  • France
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world
Label
The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world, Ken Alder
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
x, 422 pages
Isbn
9780743216753
Lccn
2002070267
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
  • ocm49699440
  • OCoLC
Label
The measure of all things : the seven-year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world, Ken Alder
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
x, 422 pages
Isbn
9780743216753
Lccn
2002070267
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
  • ocm49699440
  • OCoLC

Library Locations

    • Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch LibraryBorrow it
      11300 Greenwell Springs Rd., Baton Rouge, LA, 70814, US
      30.493828 -91.057497
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