I have a question to ask, and I have no idea where it is appropriate to put it.. ,
If a scientifically minded person from a modern society were lost in a remote wilderness and had knowledge of the metric system, but no rulers or weights or measures with them, is there some way to at least somewhat accurately derive these units from the natural world?
Some of the standards that I know can be naturally derived:
- A straightedge can be made by shaving down 3 pieces of wood with stones, and comparing them with each other for flatness.
- A moderately accurate protractor can be derived from the compass and straightedge.
- A sundial and directional compass can be constructed with knowledge of the star Polaris, then sketching out the 90-degree points with the straightedge and compass, and the hours indicated with 15 degree marks.
- Timekeeping by the hour through the night can be established with a large dripping water clock.
- Over many years, one could eventually work up to constructing a mechanical clock using a pendulum and weight, and eventually approximate the measure of time called a second.
- Since the metric Celsius scale is built around the freezing and boiling point of water, it would eventually be possible to reconstruct this measurement scale, if some simple method of measuring temperature can be found.
However I have no idea how one would go about accurately re-establishing the weights and measures of the metric system.
Is there any way to naturally derive the gram, the meter, and the liter without any modern reference standards?