Marine Chronometer and Longitude Essays

889 WordsSep 24, 19994 Pages
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time is written by Dava Sobel. The book is called Longitude because it is about a clock maker who was able to determine longitude. Determining longitude was the superlative scientific question in the eighteenth century that Galileo and Newton were not able to resolve. The principal inspiration behind the invention completed in this book is that many sailors were lost at seas as a result of their ignorance regarding longitude. So, without the competence to determine longitude, many innocent lives were disintegrated at seas. England’s Parliament was desperate for an answer to this problem. So, in 1714 England’s Parliament…show more content…
The H-3 was the leanest of the sea clocks and was small enough to meet the definition of “shipshape.” H-3 contained bearings in the caged ball that smoothened the operation with moving parts. Unlike H-1 and H-2, H-3 ran on two large circular balances wheels linked by metal ribbons. In addition, it was controlled by a single spiral spring. Furthermore, Harrison introduced a bi-metallic strip in the H-3. The bi-metallic strip compensates immediately and automatically for any changes in temperature that could effect the clock’s going rate. But after the H-3 was completed Harrison realized that a small watch might be the greatest device to figure out the longitude. As a result, John Harrison completed H-4 in1759. It was very minute for a sea clock, and weighed only three pounds. It had two silver cases and a “genteel white face that showed off four fanciful repeats of a fruit-and-foliage motif drawn in black. These patterns ring the dial of Roman numeral hours and Arabic seconds, where three blue-steel hands point to the correct time.” H-4 was a watch that embodied the gist of grace and correctness. When Maskelyne tested H-4 it failed the test. Harrison, then, raised many questions and complains about the test and the testers of the H-4. For example, he said that the men, who were supposed to witness Maskelyne’s daily interactions with the watch were not fit for active duty, were too old, and wheezy to

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