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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
These are walks b.. by terree   (Show all posts)
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Could weedavie giv.. by Claude Hopper   (Show all posts)
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Colin Murphy
2008-12-02 10:39:12
"Schiehallion" from Colin Murphy Contract pics
Picture: Schiehallion (Contract pics)

Contour lines, physics byproduct
Back in the distant year of 1981, a flatmate of mine in Edinburgh, suggested that we kill a summer’s Sunday by ‘climbing a mountain’. With nothing else to do, we set off for God-knows-where in his banger of a car and I duly trudged along in agonised silence behind him, ill-equipped and totally unfit as we headed up Schiehallion (1083m in Perth & Kinross) – my first ever hillwalking experience. By co-incidence I recently came across the name Schiehallion when reading Bill Bryson’s ‘A short history of everything’. In 1774, the mountain had been selected by a physicist Nevil Maskelyne as an ideal one to conduct an experiment to determine the universal gravitional constant – if you hang a plumb line near a mountain the gravitational force will pull the line at a tiny but measurable angle towards its mass. All you need to do is measure the mass of the mountain and bob’s your uncle, the gravitational constant! Maskelyne and a mathematician called Hutton spent months taking countless measurements of Schiehallion to determine its precise shape. But the jumble of numbers was so confusing they could make little use of them – until Hutton realised that his job would be made easier if he joined the points of equal height. When he did, he realised that he’d accidentally discovered a way of accurately mapping the landscape – contour lines. Within a few years the system was adopted as a standard among cartographers the world over and it has certainly stopped me from walking over a few cliffs over the years. Incidentally their original gravitational constant experiment was a success and was actually repeated by a group of scientists in 2005, with pretty much the same results!
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 16 Next page >>
User profile
jackill an hour ago.
I started hillwalking in mid 2003 after being pestered by a friend of mine to try it. The first walk was 10 km with a total climb of about 300 meters - and I nearly died! The funny thing was I kep...

Forum: General
The Derryveagh Mountains to the sea.
jackill an hour ago.
On a blustery St.Patricks day Bleck Cra and I with a few old scavenger buddies headed up, and were almost blown off, Errigal.As it turns out though it gave some great opportunities to catch up esp...

Forum: General
Those thieving Cork Bas*#?&$ !
jackill 2 hours ago.
Apparently we may need to consider moving one of our mountains south a bit. Apparently an eagle eyed Donegal resident spotted this in a picture at Cork airport. And sure we've also stolen Rory Gal...

Devil's Glen
jgfitz 3 hours ago.
walk, Len: 11.1km, Climb: 409m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Black Hill: Against the Odds
Geansai 19 hours ago.
After reading about it in the Ireland lonely planet walking guide ,did the second leg of the Antrim Hills way from the Larne- Ballymena road jump off point to Glenarm the day after the hurricane l...

Near Galty Mountains (Ireland)
mlmoroneybb a day ago.
walk, Len: 6.8km, Climb: 141m, Area: Galty Mountains (Ireland)

User profile
FrankMc1964 a day ago.
Navigate most of the mountains along the west................member of Limerick Climbing Club.....One of the founder members of Mountain Meitheal Southeast doing Path repair around the Galtees.

Dolmen Loop Lisvarrinane
mlmoroneybb a day ago.
Easy walk can be completed in 2.5 hours walk, Len: 10.6km, Climb: 281m, Area: Slievenamuck, Galty Mountains (Ireland) S...

Summit Comment
Sheegouna: Tipp of the iceberg #2
madfrankie 2 days ago.
Slievenamon dominates the view SW from Sheegouna's low cairn

Pigeon Rock Mountain & South Top
Trailtrekker a day ago.
walk, Len: 3.2km, Climb: 192m, Area: Pigeon Rock Mountain, Mourne Mountains (Ir...

Summit Comment
Sheegouna: The Tipp of the iceberg
madfrankie 2 days ago.
A couple of pics from a frigid hike up Slievenamon that continued on to the NE top, Sheegouna.Amazing how even the most unremarkable hills are transformed by the white stuff.

An abridged Sheeffrys route
peter1 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 13.0km, Climb: 763m, Area: Tievnabinnia South-East Top, Sheeffry Hil...

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