Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 9, 1–7, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-9-1-2018
Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 9, 1–7, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-9-1-2018

Short note 09 Jan 2018

Short note | 09 Jan 2018

The attraction of the pyramids: virtual realization of Hutton's suggestion to improve Maskelyne's 1774 Earth density estimate

John R. Smallwood

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Short summary
Charles Hutton suggested in 1821 that the pyramids of Egypt be used to site an experiment to improve the estimate of the density of the Earth. He had previously estimated the horizontal attraction of a Scottish mountain as part of Nevil Maskelyne’s 1774 "Schiehallion Experiment". I present a virtual realization of an experiment at the Giza pyramids to investigate Hutton’s concept. I show that such an experiment would indeed have allowed a more accurate mean Earth density to be determined.