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Accueil > Diffusion des connaissances > Science Festival 2019, workshops SPHERE : program

Science Festival 2019, workshops SPHERE : program

Measurements in the History of Science





October 10–11, 2019,

Building Halle aux Farines, Campus Paris Rive Gauche, University Paris Diderot *



Measurement, Measurements in History of Science


Measurement plays a central role in all human activities, be they administrative, economic or scientific. This place of measurement practices can be documented from Mesopotamian antiquity to today. The SPHERE laboratory has been interested for many years in the theoretical, practical and philosophical issues of measurement in its past and present developments. This interdisciplinary research crosses all branches of the history of science represented in the laboratory, history and philosophy of mathematics, physics, life sciences and medicine, history of techniques. In 2018 and 2019, this long-term research work resonated with a major scientific news : the reform of the international system of units.


The SPHERE laboratory wanted to give an overview of this research through several conferences and workshops that will be integrated into the program of the Science Festival of the University of Paris

Talks
Challenges of unifying units of measurement 11/10, 15:00
Workshops
Measuring and calculating 4000 years ago in Mesopotamia 10/10, 11/10
Measuring at the Middle Ages 10/10, 11/10
How to measure gravity ? 10/10, 11/10

Venue :
University Paris Diderot, Building Halle aux farines* (plan


Talks CHALLENGES OF UNIFYING UNITS OF MEASUREMENT

Two times and then a general discussion :
- * 1 Questions of Measurement in India : between history and politics, reflections on a field of ethnomathematics.
There are still several measurement systems in the Indian subcontinent today. This conference will reflect on the political and historical issues of measurement systems in South Asia, based on a survey conducted in a village in South India - where landless workers are paid in kind by a landowner, with resulting conflicts

- * 2 From the metric system to the reform of the International System of Units : consequences without measure
It was the Revolution that gave France the opportunity to sweep the old units and replace them with a new system of units, for the first time entirely designed by scientists : the Metric System. We shall see how the progressive adoption of this scientific language of measurement by all nations has upset not only the conduct of science, but also that of economic exchanges and human behavior. We will also see how the reform of the International System of Units, in force since May 20, 2019, prolongs the gesture of the eighteenth century scholars and the questions it raises in a world crossed by economic, political and social issues. of globalization.

  • Friday October 11, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (time tbc)


Workshop MEASURING AND CALCULATING 4000 YEARS AGO IN MESOPOTAMIA

In a "school of scribes" organized on the model of Mesopotamian schools, participants will learn to write numbers and measurements of length or area, as well as to calculate according to ancient methods. They will note their results in cuneiform writing on fresh clay tablets using a reed calamus in the manner of the scribes of antiquity

- * With Charlotte de Varent, Christine Proust, Louise Quillen, Adeline Reynaud and Guillaume Toucas (researchers and PhD students SPHERE)

Thursday, October 10
- * 13h30 to 14h45 : school (college or high school), on registration with the central reservation of the University)
- * 15h15 to 16h30 : school (college or high school), on registration with the central reservation of the University)
- * 4:45 pm to 6 pm : all ages

Friday 11 October
- * 13h30 to 14h45 : school (college or high school), on registration with the central reservation of the University)
- * 15h15 to 16h30 : school (college or high school), on registration with the central reservation of the University)



Workshop MEASURING AT THE MIDDLE AGES

How was it measured in the Middle Ages, when the metric system did not exist yet ? At that time when units of measurement could vary from one site to another, how did workers and builders build castles and cathedrals ? With what tools did these builders who had a very limited theoretical knowledge of mathematics work ? This is what we will try to discover in this workshop, during which young people will be able to try the manufacture and the use of medieval instruments such as freelance or rope with thirteen knots.

- * Hosted by PhD students from the SPHERE laboratory (Marie Lacomme, Justin Gabriel, Edgar Lejeune)

Thursday, October 10
- * 13h30 to 14h45 : school (primary or college), on registration with the central reservation of the University)
- * 15h15 to 16h30 : school (primary or college), on registration with the central reservation of the University)

Friday 11 October
- * 13h30 to 14h45 : school (primary or college), on registration with the central reservation of the University)
- * 15h15 to 16h30 : school (primary or college), on registration with the central reservation of the University)



Workshop HOW TO MEASURE GRAVITY

How to measure gravity ? In this workshop, we will explore some simple methods for measuring gravity (oscillations of a pendulum, and measuring a free fall time). These collective reflections will introduce the following questions : what is measuring ? What do we really measure ? How to do when two measures disagree with each other ? Does measurement require assumptions, or theories ?
The participants will make their own small group measurements on one of the elective devices and we will discuss together the conclusions to be drawn from the comparison of the results obtained.

- * Hosted by Helmy Chekir (PhD student, Paris Diderot University, SPHERE-LIED) & Fabien Grégis (SPHERE research associate)

Friday 11 October
- * 13h30 to 14h45 : school (high school), half-group of a dozen students, on registration with the central reservation of the University
- * 15h15 to 16h30 : school (high school), half-group of a dozen students, on registration with the central reservation of the University




ORGANIZATION
For SPHERE project for this Science Festival : Christine Proust (CNRS, SPHERE, CHSA). Coordination and communication : Nad Fachard (CNRS, SPHERE).
Organization of the Science Festival at Paris Diderot University : Stéphane Villain (Paris Diderot University, Campus Life Director), Mireille Fouquet (Paris Diderot University, UFR Mathematics, Vice President Life student)




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* How to get there

Rue Françoise Dolto and / or Esplanade Vidal-Naquet, Paris Rive gauche campus of Paris Diderot University, 75013 Paris.

Public transportation

Metro line 14 / Station : François Mitterrand Library
RER C / Station : François Mitterrand Library
Bus 64 / Stop : Tolbiac-Library François Mitterrand
Bus 62 & 89 / Stop : Avenue de France or François Mitterrand Library (terminus)
Bus 325 / Stop : Watt

Map of campus and neighborhood with public transit .