Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press
"Revolutionary Measures": Review of The Measure of the World, by Denis Guedj. Reviewed by Roy Herbert. New Scientist, 29 September 2001, page 66.
This book tells, in novelized form, the story of the 18th century measurement of the quarter meridian between Dunkirk and Barcelona. This measurement established a standard for the length of a meter: It is one ten-millionth of the quarter meridian. The book "is tale of adventure, drama, comedy and danger and its background is the turbulence and terror of the French Revolution," the review states.
--- Allyn Jackson