Friedrich W. Bessel: The Man Who Dared to Measure

  • Neil English
Part of the Historical & Cultural Astronomy book series (HCA)


Measurement is at the heart of science. It enables us to distinguish between a yard and a mile say, a minute and a year, a gram and a ton. Some measurements don’t count for much, but others can mean the difference between life and death. On another level, measurement enables humans to have a sense of perspective. We are quite enormous in comparison to an ant, for example, but decidedly tiny in comparison to a star. There is a soulful longing within our kind to know, through measurement, where we ‘fit’ in the scheme of things, wistful desires that have given birth to the global civilization we enjoy today.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil English
    • 1
  1. 1.Fintry by GlasgowUK

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