Barcelona and the history of the metre

Barcelona and the history of the metre


Barcelona is part of the history of the metric system and specifically the history of the metre. French astronomers Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre and Pierre François André Méchain collaborated on the famous project to measure the meridian arc distance from Dunkirk in France to Barcelona in Spain which aimed to provide an accurate measure of the size and shape of the Earth.

On 16th March 1794 the tower on Montjuic castle was used as the reference point in Barcelona. Méchain was responsible for measuring the northern section of the meridian arc, from Dunkirk to Rodez, while Delambre measured the southern section from Barcelona to Rodez.

The measurements were conducted between 1792 and 1798, and the results were published in 1806 in the base text of the metric system, the "Base du système métrique décimal". Using this measurement they defined the distance of 1m for the first time.

Montjuic castle
Montjuic hill
Near Montjuic hill
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Last Updated on Sunday, 26 February 2023 22:39
 

Monday, 26 February 2024