Page:EB1911 - Volume 08.djvu/837

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810
EARTH, FIGURE OF THE


governments in 1857, he transferred them to his son Otto, who, in 1860, secured the co-operation of England. A new connexion of England with the continent, via the English Channel, was accomplished in the next two years; whereas the requisite triangulations in Prussia and Russia extended over several decennaries. The number of longitude stations originally arranged for was 15; and the determinations of the differences in longitude were uniformly commenced by the Russian observers E. I. von Forsch, J. I. Zylinski, B. Tiele and others; Feaghmain (Valentia) being reserved for English observers. With the concluding calculation of these operations, newer determinations of differences of longitudes were also applicable, by which the number of stations was brought up to 29. Since local deflections of the plumb-line were suspected at Feaghmain, the most westerly station, the longitude (with respect to Greenwich) of the trigonometrical station Killorglin at the head of Dingle Bay was shortly afterwards determined.

The results (1891-1894) are given in volumes xlvii. and l. of the memoirs (Zapiski) of the military topographical division of the Russian general staff, volume li. contains a reconnexion of Orsk. The observations made west of Warsaw are detailed in the Die europ. Längengradmessung in 52° Br., i. and ii., 1893, 1896, published by the Kgl. Preuss. Geod. Inst.

The following figures are quoted from Helmert’s report “Die Grösse der Erde” (Sitzb. d. Berl. Akad. d. Wiss., 1906, p. 535):—

Easterly Deviation of the Astronomical Zenith.

Name. Longitude.
  °
Feaghmain -10 21 -3.3
Killorglin -9 47 +2.8
Haverfordwest -4 58 +1.6
Greenwich 0 0 +1.5
Rosendaël-Nieuport +2 35 -1.7
Bonn +7 6 -4.4
Göttingen +9 57 -2.4
Brocken +10 37 +2.3
Leipzig +12 23 +2.7
Rauenberg-Berlin +13 23 +1.7
Grossenhain +13 33 -2.9
Schneekoppe +15 45 +0.1
Springberg +16 37 +0.8
Breslau-Rosenthal +17 2 +3.5
Trockenberg +18 53 -0.5
Schönsee +18 54 -2.9
Mirov +19 18 +2.2
Warsaw +21 2 +1.9
Grodno +23 50 -2.8
Bobruisk +29 14 +0.5
Orel +36 4 +4.4
Lipetsk +39 36 +0.2
Saratov +46 3 +6.4
Samara +50 5 -2.6
Orenburg +55 7 +1.7
Orsk +58 34 -8.0

These deviations of the plumb-line correspond to an ellipsoid having an equatorial radius (a) of nearly 6,378,000 metres (prob. error ± 70 metres) and an ellipticity 1/299.15. The latter was taken for granted; it is nearly equal to the result from the gravity-measurements; the value for then gives a minimum (nearly). The astronomical values of the geographical longitudes (with regard to Greenwich) are assumed, according to the compensation of longitude differences carried out by van de Sande Bakhuyzen (Comp. rend, des séances de la commission permanente de l’Association Géod. Internationale à Genève, 1893, annexe A.I.). Recent determinations (Albrecht, Astr. Nach., 3993/4) have introduced only small alterations in the deviations, a being slightly increased.

Of considerable importance in the investigation of the great arc was the representation of the linear lengths found in different countries, in terms of the same unit. The necessity for this had previously occurred in the computation of the figure of the earth from latitude-degree-measurements. A. R. Clarke instituted an extensive series of comparisons at Southampton (see Comparisons of Standards of Length of England, France, Belgium, Prussia, Russia, India and Australia, made at the Ordnance Survey Office, Southampton, 1866, and a paper in the Philosophical Transactions for 1873, by Lieut.-Col. A. R. Clarke, C.B., R.E., on the further comparisons of the standards of Austria, Spain, the United States, Cape of Good Hope and Russia) and found that 1 toise = 6.39453348 ft., 1 metre = 3.28086933 ft.

In 1875 a number of European states concluded the metre convention, and in 1877 an international weights-and-measures bureau was established at Breteuil. Until this time the metre was determined by the end-surfaces of a platinum rod (mètre des archives); subsequently, rods of platinum-iridium, of cross-section Britannica E 9.jpg, were constructed, having engraved lines at both ends of the bridge, which determine the distance of a metre. There were thirty of the rods which gave as accurately as possible the length of the metre; and these were distributed among the different states (see Weights and Measures). Careful comparisons with several standard toises showed that the metre was not exactly equal to 443,296 lines of the toise, but, in round numbers, 1/75000 of the length smaller. The metre according to the older relation is called the “legal metre,” according to the new relation the “international metre.” The values are (see Europ. Längengradmessung, i. p. 230):—

Legal metre = 3.28086933 ft., International metre = 3.2808257 ft.

The values of given above are in terms of the international metre; the earlier ones in legal metres, while the gravity formulae are in international metres.


The International Geodetic Association (Internationale Erdmessung).

On the proposition of the Prussian lieutenant-general, Johann Jacob Baeyer, a conference of delegates of several European states met at Berlin in 1862 to discuss the question of a “Central European degree-measurement.” The first general conference took place at Berlin two years later; shortly afterwards other countries joined the movement, which was then named “The European degree-measurement.” From 1866 till 1886 Prussia had borne the expense incident to the central bureau at Berlin; but when in 1886 the operations received further extension and the title was altered to “The International Earth-measurement” or “International Geodetic Association,” the co-operating states made financial contributions to this purpose. The central bureau is affiliated with the Prussian Geodetic Institute, which, since 1892, has been situated on the Telegraphenberg near Potsdam. After Baeyer’s death Prof. Friedrich Robert Helmert was appointed director. The funds are devoted to the advancement of such scientific works as concern all countries and deal with geodetic problems of a general or universal nature. During the period 1897-1906 the following twenty-one countries belonged to the association:—Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Servia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States of America. At the present time general conferences take place every three years.[1]

Baeyer projected the investigation of the curvature of the meridians and the parallels of the mathematical surface of the earth stretching from Christiania to Palermo for 12 degrees of longitude; he sought to co-ordinate and complete the network of triangles in the countries through which these meridians passed, and to represent his results by a common unit of length. This proposition has been carried out, and extended over the greater part of Europe; as a matter of fact, the network has, with trifling gaps, been carried over the whole of western and central Europe, and, by some chains of triangles, over European Russia. Through the co-operation of France, the network has been extended into north Africa as far as the geographical latitude of 32°; in Greece a network, united with those of Italy and Bosnia, has been carried out by the Austrian colonel, Heinrich Hartl; Servia has projected similar triangulations; Rumania has begun to make the triangle measurements, and three base

  1. Die Königl. Observatorien für Astrophysik, Meteorologie und Geodäsie bei Potsdam (Berlin, 1890); Verhandlungen der I. Allgemeinen Conferenz der Bevollmächtigten zur mitteleurop. Gradmessung, October, 1864, in Berlin (Berlin, 1865); A. Hirsch, Verhandlungen der VIII. Allg. Conf. der Internationalen Erdmessung, October, 1886, in Berlin (Berlin, 1887); and Verhandlungen der XI. Allg. Conf. d. I. E., October, 1895, in Berlin (1896).