La Figure de la Terre determinée. Par Messieurs de L'Academie Royale des Sciences, qui ont mesuré le Degré du Méridien au Cercle Polaire. (Discours lu dans l'Assemblée publique du 13 Novembre 1737).

(Paris, L'Imprimerie Royale, 1740). 4to. Without wrappers. Extracted from "Mémoires de l'Academie des Sciences. Année 1737". Pp. 389-469, 1 engraved map (from Torneå to Kittis) and 5 folded engraved plates.

First printing of the official report from the French Academy of the geodetic expedition to Lapland in order to settle the conflict between Earth-elangators and Earth-flatteners, between the French and the British.

"Newton had calculated from the Earth's rotational force at the Equator that its equatoeial diameter should exceed its polar diameter by 0.44 per cent, or 27 km (17 miles); similar in Jupiter, rotating more than twice as fast, the disparity of the diameters was shown to be even greater... In France, however, tha Cassinis from geodetic measurements stretching along the meridian at Paris from the Channel to the Pyrennees came to exactly the opposite conclusion - that the polar diameter of the Earth was the greater. After Maupertuis had examined this imcompatibility in 1733, the Academy of Sciences decided that it should be settled by measure of a degree of latitude taken in two widely separated parts of the globe. Maupertuis, with Clairaut, took a party to the Golf ofBothnia. La Condamine, with Bouguer, took another to Peru. maupertuis departed in May 1736 and was absent for a year, only in December (1737) was he able to announce the result that, in accordance with Newton's dynamical theory, the degreee in the far north was loner than that in Paris. More years elepsed before the degreee in Peru was found to be shorter. As Voltaire put in a wrily witty (but un-Baconian) couplet addresseed to Maupertuis:

"In tedious deserts you were forced to roam. To find the truth that Newton knew at home." (Rupert Hall "Revolution in Science 1500-1750, pp.351-52).

Parkinson "Breakthroughs" 1736-37 E.

Order-nr.: 51275

DKK 4.500,00