Ancient Chinese Scientists

The modern science is indebted to the ancient Chinese scientists in number of ways. Just think about any discipline as diverse as physics and social science, you will be able to find at least some Chinese influence.

Take the example of astronomy. It is a well known fact that the first planetarium was invented by the ancient Chinese as a result of imperial patronage. It was a large enclosed chamber with stars and constellations on the inside. The watcher had to sit in a chair that used to be hung from the top of the enclosed dome.

Ancient Chinese astronomy flourished under the government supervision and patronage. The official astronomers were paid to keep track of the solar, lunar, and planetary motions. All these astronomical phenomena used to hold special religious significance for the ancient Chinese.

In the field of Chemistry also Chinese left the mark of excellence. The Chinese chemists were assigned the task of inventing the ‘Elixir of Life’ that can be used to immortalize their emperors. These chemists with extra ordinary talent used to experiment with number of herbs, animals organs, minerals and many other elements and in the process they invented a range of life saving and healing drugs.

In the field of mathematics also, the ancient Chinese had unparallel contributions. The Chinese activities in the realm of mathematics can be traced as long back as 14th century B.C. As with the other field of scientific activities, so with mathematics: it was a part of their religious existence. The mathematical calculations were also used in the diverse fields of astronomy, water control and administration.

The expertise of the ancient Chinese in the area of physics is also beyond question. The ancient Chinese scientists were the first among other civilizations to invent complex machines. The wheel burrow, the blast furnace, the grooves… all are the evidence of Chinese scientists’ familiarity with the basics laws of physics.

Their invention and uses of compass or their experimentations with the several aspects of earthquake suggests that they took great interest in the earth science too.


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