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Exploring the Gulf of Mexico with Dr. Sheli: Math – figuring out distance and speed at sea

Mr. Steve Lewis has all kinds of questions and has been pestering me about math so before he gets going I thought we might want to explore how speed was figured at sea before speedometers.

Ships used chip logs before modern mechanics and that is where the term “knots” comes from.  For ships and airplanes or airships travel in knots not miles per hour. So I guess we have several first questions What is the difference between a knot and a mile?   How are they measured precisely? What does a chip log look like? If they didn’t have speedometers did they have clocks? If no clocks what did they use to measure time at sea?

This is a great way to really get going with time and distance.


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