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World in the Balance: The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement (Paperback)

World in the Balance: The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement By Robert P. Crease Cover Image
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“Shows that the story of metrology . . . can in the right hands make for a riveting read.”—The Economist

Millions of transactions each day depend on a reliable network of weights and measures. But achieving such a network was anything but easy, as Robert P. Crease, physicist and philosopher, demonstrates in this endlessly fascinating, always entertaining look at just how this international system evolved. From the link between musical pitch and distance in the dynasties of ancient China and the use of figurines to measure gold in West Africa to the creation of the French metric and British imperial systems, Crease takes readers along on one of history’s greatest philosophical and scientific adventures.

About the Author

Robert P. Crease is the chairman of the philosophy department at Stony Brook University and the author of several books on science, including The Quantum Moment and The Great Equations. He lives in New York City.

Praise For…

By any measure, this book is a delight.
— Natural History

[A] fascinating book.
— New Scientist

A colorful tale of global conquest driven by kings, revolutionaries, polyglots and privateers.
— Science News

Takes the seemingly mundane questions we unthinkingly ask dozens of times a day and reveals them to be thrillingly profound.
— Richard Panek, author of The 4% Universe

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393343540
ISBN-10: 0393343545
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: October 15th, 2012
Pages: 320
Language: English