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Gresham GI Special Edition Stainless Steel Tonnaeu Case White and Blue Colourway Watch G1-0001-WHT

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The scale of the British Empire and the dominance of British industry ensured that in 1890 nearly two-thirds of the telegraph lines in the world were owned by British companies, which controlled 156,000 kilometers of cables. But the influence of the system extended far beyond the British Empire. The growth of the new global communication networks meant, as the writer Max Nordau noted in 1892, that the simplest villager now had a wider geographical horizon than a head of government a century before. If he read a paper he 'interests himself simultaneously in the issue of a revolution in Chile, a bush-war in East Africa, a massacre in North China, a famine in Russia'.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, communication was slow, even relatively short journeys were uncertain and time-consuming, and people were dependant on the forces of nature for energy; this lecture charts the development of new modes of communication, from the railway to the radio, the telegraph to the telephone, the steamship to the motor-car and examines their efforts on perceptions of time and space. Numerous technical obstacles had to be overcome in creating a universal system of standard time. In 1872, when the first transatlantic cable, the transmission of messages revealed that Paris was half a second further away from London than had previously been thought. Trying to fix a precise difference in longitude between Paris and Berlin, engineers noted that signals were slowed by mechanical and other factors such as the 'non-instantaneity of the transmission of the electric flux'. Despite such technical problems, and overcoming a bitterly fought rearguard action by the French, who eventually abstained on the decisive motions, in 1884, delegates from 25 states met in Washington to agree on the standardization of world time. Sailors had already synchronized time using chronometers set by longitudinal measurements based on the Greenwich Meridian, reflecting British dominance of seaborne mercantile traffic, and this was the standard adopted at the Washington conference, which divided the world into 24 time-zones by longitude, treating the meridian as the zero line, dividing the Eastern from the western hemisphere. We remember Christopher Wren as a great architect. But he was so much more. Today I’m going to tell you about Christopher Wren the mathematician. We’ll look at his work on curves including spirals and ellipses, and we’ll see some of the mathematics behind his most impressive architectural achievement – the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. There’s an excellent article by Tony Philips on the mathematics of shells at http://www.ams.org/publicoutreach/feature-column/fcarc-shell1. I created my designs in Geogebra3D, using a modified version of the general solid logarithmic spiral equation discussed in the article.

Spiral-like shapes crop up regularly in nature. There’s a particular kind of spiral, called a logarithmic spiral that was familiar to Wren. Logarithmic spirals were first mentioned by the German artist and engraver Albrecht Durer, and studied in great detail by the mathematician Jacob Bernoulli – he gave them the name “spira mirabilis”, or “miraculous spiral”. In a logarithmic spiral, the distance r from the centre is a power of the angle we’ve moved through (or conversely the angle is a logarithm of the distance, hence the name). This means that the gap between consecutive rings of the spiral is increasing each time. One example of a logarithmic spiral, shown below, is r= 2 θ/360(where we are measuring our angles in degrees). With every complete revolution, the distance of the spiral from the origin doubles. It crosses the x -axis at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and so on. We’ve got a huge range of 100% genuine luxury watches from leading brands such as Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega and Breitling, all individually assessed and valued by our expert buyers. Don’t worry about finding the perfect watch for your budget, because our collection of luxury watches also boasts new and pre-owned watchitems with a price-match promise, meaning if you find it cheaper elsewhere, we could match it (T&Cs apply). Wren was educated at Oxford and later held the Savilian chair in astronomy there, as well as his Gresham professorship in London. These roles and others place him right at the heart of an exceptionally active and exciting community of scientific thinkers. The group around Gresham College included not just Wren as Gresham Professor of Astronomy but also Robert Hooke, who was Gresham Professor of Geometry at a similar time. Wren was not just a founder member of the Royal Society (which arose out of weekly meetings at Gresham beginning in November 1660) but served as its president. And he was an active contributor in meetings – if perhaps not in subscription fees, which he had to be chased to pay up. In short, he was a key contributor to the scientific and mathematical thought of the time. We can see this, not just from his own work, but by the amount he is mentioned in the writing of others, giving credit to him for certain ideas. For example, when Isaac Newton introduces the idea of a force governed by an inverse square law in his Principia Mathematica, he says that one example is the force governing the motion of the planets “as Sir Christopher Wren, Dr. Hooke, and Dr. Halley have severally observed”. Wren’s name appears seven times in the Principia. In fact, the leading architectural historian John Summerson (1904-1992) wrote that if Wren had died at thirty, he would still have been a “figure of some importance in English scientific thought, but without the word “architecture” occurring once in his biographies”. Wren’s contributions to astronomy are the subject of a lecture by the current Gresham Professor of Astronomy, Katherine Blundell, which you can watch online: today I want to explore his mathematical contributions. Have a designer watch you want to sell? Or, have your eyes on a particular brand and want to part exchange? Ramsdens is happy to help. Learn More About Watches

You’ll find everything from classic models to modern styles, featuring materials such as gold, silver and diamond, so you’re sure to find the perfect men’s or ladies' designer watch.Markhor Screw-horned Goat, by Rufus46, Boreray Ram, by Gibbja, Giant Eland by Greg Hume, all CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons The following paper is a helpful summary of Wren’s mathematical work which gives detail of the original sources, for example the places in Wallis’s Tractatus de Cycloide where he explain’s Wren’s rectification of the cycloid and solution to Kepler’s problem. Wren the Mathematician, D.T. Whiteside, Notes & Records of the Royal Society, 15, pp107-111 (1960).

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