World in the Balance

World in the Balance

The Historic Quest for An Absolute System of Measurement

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
Offers the story of the invention of a global network of weights, scales, and instruments for measurement.

Norton Pub
The epic story of the invention of a global network of weights, scales, and instruments for measurement.
Millions of transactions each day depend on a reliable network of weights and measures. This network has been called a greater invention than the steam engine, comparable only to the development of the printing press.Robert P. Crease traces the evolution of this international system from the use of flutes to measure distance in the dynasties of ancient China and figurines to weigh gold in West Africa to the creation of the French metric and British imperial systems. The former prevailed, with the United States one of three holdout nations. Into this captivating history Crease weaves stories of colorful individuals, including Thomas Jefferson, an advocate of the metric system, and American philosopher Charles S. Peirce, the first to tie the meter to the wavelength of light. Tracing the dynamic struggle for ultimate precision, World in the Balance demonstrates that measurement is both stranger and more integral to our lives than we ever suspected.

Book News
Crease (author, and philosophy, Stony Brook U.) tells the story of the development and improvisation of a reliable system of weights and measures, certainly one of civilization's most important achievements for obvious reasons. He relates how different countries and regions of the world went about establishing measurement systems, but more importantly, he tells of a new generation of scientists working to bring all basic units of measure together to create a truly 'absolute' system of measurement--one that could, if somehow we lost basic standards of measurement, allow us to create the same standards again. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Offers the epic story of the invention of a global network of weights, scales and instruments for measurement.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, [2011]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9780393072983
Branch Call Number: 530.81 Crease 2011
Characteristics: 317 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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