The Man Who Weighed the Earth

Fascinating portraits of ingenious inventors

Original Title: Der Mann, der die Erde wog

original edition

Hardcover with jacket, 416 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-570-10258-9
€ 22.00 [D] | € 22.70 [A] | CHF 29.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: C. Bertelsmann

Date of publication: October 30, 2017
This title is available.


Richard von Schirach - The Man Who Weighed the Earth


Fascinating stories of dauntless people who changed the world

In 1780, a seemingly eccentric Englishman almost seventy years old worked out the weight of the world with the help of lead balls, a pulley and a wooden rod: after thousands of hours of measurements and calculations, the result achieved by Henry Cavendish is amazingly precise.

In around 1840, a young ship's doctor made some observations concerning the temperature of storm-whipped waves and in the process discovered one of the most important physical laws: Robert von Mayer is not taken seriously and ends up in a mental institution.

A brilliant young physicist from Germany is caught up in Stalin's Great Purge: Friedrich Houtermans survives the three years' solitary confinement by working out brilliant proof of properties of prime numbers – merely in his mind because pen and paper were forbidden.

Richard von Schirach recounts unknown, curious, shocking stories of people behind world-changing discoveries; he describes their almost childish raptures, their profound awe in view of the beauty of creation and their sometimes apparently crazy boldness.


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