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[PSA] Longitude Prize

Posted by Yalk 
[PSA] Longitude Prize
May 29, 2014 03:34PM

I'm not allow to vote, as I'm not a resident of the UK. Since some of you are...you should vote and start thinking of solutions

Wiki information
The Longitude Prize was a reward offered by the British government for a simple and practical method for the precise determination of a ship's longitude. The prize, established through an Act of Parliament (the Longitude Act) in 1714, was administered by the Board of Longitude. It was eventually awarded in 1765 to John Harrison for his chronometer.

This was by no means the first such prize to be offered. Philip II of Spain offered a prize in 1567, Philip III in 1598 offered 6,000 ducats and a pension,[1] whilst the States-General of the Netherlands offered 10,000 florins.[2] But these large prizes were never won, though several people were awarded smaller sums to continue their research.

The problem of longitude
The measurement of longitude was a problem that came into sharp focus as people began making transoceanic voyages. Determining latitude was relatively easy in that it could be found from the altitude of the sun at noon with the aid of a table giving the sun's declination for the day.[3] For longitude, early ocean navigators had to rely on dead reckoning. This was inaccurate on long voyages out of sight of land and these voyages sometimes ended in tragedy. Finding an adequate solution to determining longitude was of paramount importance.

For details on many of the other efforts towards determining the longitude, see History of longitude.

Prizes offered
The main longitude prizes were:

£10,000 for a method that could determine longitude within 60 nautical miles (111 km) (£1.22 million as of 2014)[4]
£15,000 for a method that could determine longitude within 40 nautical miles (74 km) (£1.84 million as of 2014)[4]
£20,000 for a method that could determine longitude within 30 nautical miles (56 km) (£2.45 million as of 2014)[4]
In addition, the Board had the discretion to make awards to persons who were making significant contributions to the effort or to provide ongoing financial support to those who were working productively towards the solution. The Board could also make advances of up to £2,000 for experimental work deemed promising.[5]

As a result of the disputes and changes in the rules (legislated or otherwise) for the prize, no one was deemed qualified for any of the official prizes. None of the major prizes were ever awarded.

"SORRY, I couldn't hear you over the sound of my tits! what were you saying?"