The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention

The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention

by Robert Temple
     
 

ISBN-10: 1594772177

ISBN-13: 9781594772177

Pub. Date: 09/15/2007

Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

Revised, full-color illustrated edition of the multi-award-winning, international bestseller that charts the unparalleled and astounding achievement of ancient China

• Brings to life one hundred Chinese “firsts” in the fields of agriculture, astronomy, engineering, mathematics, medicine, music, technology, and warfare

• Based on the

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Overview

Revised, full-color illustrated edition of the multi-award-winning, international bestseller that charts the unparalleled and astounding achievement of ancient China

• Brings to life one hundred Chinese “firsts” in the fields of agriculture, astronomy, engineering, mathematics, medicine, music, technology, and warfare

• Based on the definitive work of the world’s most famous Sinologist, Joseph Needham (1900-1995), author of Science and Civilisation in China

• Organized by field, invention, and discovery for ease of reference

Undisputed masters of invention and discovery for 3,000 years, the ancient Chinese were the first to discover the solar wind and the circulation of the blood and even to isolate sex hormones. From the suspension bridge and the seismograph to deep drilling for natural gas, the iron plough, and the parachute, ancient China’s contributions in the fields of engineering, medicine, technology, mathematics, science, transportation, warfare, and music helped inspire the European agricultural and industrial revolutions.

Since its original publication, The Genius of China has won five literary awards in America and been translated into 43 languages. Its Chinese edition, The Spirit of Chinese Invention, was approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education for use in connection with the national secondary curriculum in China. Based on the immense, authoritative scholarship of the late Joseph Needham, the world’s foremost scholar of Chinese science, and including a foreword by him, this revised full-color illustrated edition brings to life the spirit and excitement of the unparalleled achievements of ancient China.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594772177
Publisher:
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date:
09/15/2007
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
735,769
Product dimensions:
7.63(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface by Madame Chen Zhili

Forward by Dr Joseph Needham, FRS, FBA

The West’s debt to China

PART 1: AGRICULTURE
Row cultivation and intensive hoeing
The iron plough
Efficient horse harnesses
The rotary winnowing fan
The multi-tube (‘modern’) seed drill

PART 2: ASTRONOMY AND CARTOGRAPHY
Recognition of sunspots as solar phenomena
Quantitative cartography
Discovery of the solar wind
The Mercator map-projection
Equatorial astronomical instruments

PART 3: ENGINEERING
Spouting bowls and standing waves
Cast iron
The double-acting piston bellows
The crank handle
The ‘Cardan suspension’, or gimbals
Manufacture of steel from cast iron
Deep drilling for natural gas
The belt-drive (or driving-belt)
Water power
The chain pump
The suspension bridge
The first cybernetic machine
Essentials of the steam engine
‘Magic mirrors’
The ‘Siemens’ steel process
The segmental arch bridge
The chain-drive
Underwater salvage operations

PART 4: DOMESTIC AND INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY
Lacquer: the first plastic
Strong beer (sake)
Petroleum and natural gas as fuel
Paper
The wheelbarrow
Sliding callipers
The magic lantern
The fishing reel
The stirrup
Porcelain
Biological pest control
The umbrella
Matches
Chess
Brandy and whisky
The mechanical clock
Printing
Playing-cards
Paper money
‘Permanent’ lamps
The spinning-wheel

PART 5: MEDICINE AND HEALTH
Circulation of the blood
Circadian rhythms in the human body
The science of endocrinology
Deficiency diseases
Diabetes
Use of thyroid hormone
Immunology

PART 6: MATHEMATICS
The decimal system
A place for zero
Negative numbers
Extraction of higher roots and solutions of higher numerical equations
Decimal fractions
Using algebra in geometry
A refined value of pi
‘Pascal’s’ triangle

PART 7: MAGNETISM
The first compasses
Dial and pointer devices
Magnetic declination of the Earth’s magnetic field
Magnetic remanence and induction

PART 8: THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Geobotanical prospecting
The First Law of Motion
The hexagonal structure of snowflakes
The seismograph
Spontaneous combustion
‘Modern’ geology
Phosphorescent paint

PART 9: TRANSPORTATION AND EXPLORATION
The kite
Manned flight with kites
The first relief maps
The first contour transport canal
The parachute
Miniature hot-air balloons
The rudder
Masts and sailing
Watertight compartments in ships
The helicopter rotor and the propeller
The paddle-wheel boat
Land sailing
The canal pound-lock

PART 10: SOUND AND MUSIC
The large tuned bell
Tuned drums
Hermetically sealed research laboratories
The first understanding of musical timbre
Equal temperament in music

PART 11: WARFARE
Chemical warfare, poison gas, smoke bombs and tear gas
The crossbow
Gunpowder
The flame-thrower
Flares, fireworks, bombs, grenades, land mines and sea mines
The rocket, and multi-staged rockets
Guns, cannons, mortars and repeating guns

Chinese dynasties

General map of China

Charts showing time lags between Chinese inventions and
discoveries and their adoption or recognition by the West

Index

Author’s acknowledgements

Picture credits

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