Weizmann Scientists Solve Age-old Riddle of Theory of Tides

Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have cracked a classic mathematical riddle and are using the solution to make detailed predictions of the tides at every seaport in the world as well as at points beneath the oceans. This is said to be the first time that world tides have ever been calculated from pure theory alone.

The study, which also has bearing on theories of the cosmos, was reviewed in a report of the Institute’s scientific activities made public here today by Dewey D. Stone, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The basic theory of tides was developed by a French mathematician, Laplace, in 1775. But as recently as four years ago, the report said, Weizmann scientists “also nearly succumbed to the general feeling that this task was impossible.” The breakthrough was scored by a combination of new mathematical tools and electronic computer techniques, the report added.

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