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Solving the Longitude Problem for Navigation

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Introduction

´╗┐Longitude Essay The Parliament was forced to find the solution to the troublesome longitude problem. William Whiston and Humphrey were mathematicians and friends who made a petition signed by ?Captains of Her Majesty?s Ships, Merchant-Men? This piece of parchment demanded that the government pay attention to the longitude problem. A Parliamentary committee assembled to respond to its challenge in June of 1714. The committee sought out advice from Sir Isaac Newton. They established the Longitude Act which welcomes potential solutions from any field of science or art put forth by individuals or groups of nationality and to reward success handsomely. ...read more.

Middle

They could give a stimulant amount of awards to help impoverished inventors bring promising ideas to ultimate success. The board was the world?s first official research and development agency. In order to judge the accuracy of any proposal the method had to be tested on one of Her Majesty?s ships as it sailed ?over the ocean, from Great Britain to any such Port in the West Indies as those Commissioners Choose? without losing their longitude beyond the limits before mentioned? The Board of Longitude set a trial for John Harrison?s watch in 1761. The device was put to the test by the means of an 81-day Atlantic crossing. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Board decided that John Harrison had to turn over all four clocks to get the rest of his prize money. Harrison felt ?extremely ill used by the gentlemen who I might have expected better treatment from?. He then decided to obtain help from King George II. King George tested No.5 himself at the palace and when it had lost only four and a half seconds in ten days, he told Harrison to petition Parliament for the full award. Parliament was desperate to find the solution of the longitude problem and when they suddenly found the perfect solution- a watch that could tell the exact time, they thought it was unbelievable. They tried to understand it more too. They wanted it to be perfect for the sea captains out there. ...read more.

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