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Friedrich W. Bessel: The Man Who Dared to Measure

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

Abstract

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.

Sources

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  3. Hockey, T.: The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  4. Jackson, M.: Spectrum of Belief, Joseph Von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics (Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (2000)Google Scholar
  5. King, H.C.: A History of the Telescope. Dover, Mineola (1995)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

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