The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 4

Hardcover | June 24, 1994

byColin A. Ronan, Joseph Needham

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Digesting the main sections of Volume IV of Dr. Needham''s magnum opus, this book is concerned with the immense advances made in early and medieval China in mechanical engineering. It discusses in simple but eminently readable terms the status of engineers, their tools and materials, then basic mechanical principles, followed by machinery powered by animals, man and even by steam, vehicles for land transport, six centuries of hidden clockwork, windmills and aeronautics. Since China was far ahead of the West in ancient and medieval times, this volume helps make clear the immense debt owed by Western civilization to the Chinese. Such debts included the important mechanical principles of transforming rotary motion to a to-and-fro motion of a crank and vice-versa. They invented the first efficient harness for horses and the first mechanical clocks.

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Digesting the main sections of Volume IV of Dr. Needham's magnum opus, this book is concerned with the immense advances made in early and medieval China in mechanical engineering. It discusses in simple but eminently readable terms the status of engineers, their tools and materials, then basic mechanical principles, followed by machinery powered by animals, man and even by steam, vehicles for lan...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.94 inPublished:June 24, 1994Publisher:Cambridge University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521329957

ISBN - 13:9780521329958

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Preface; 1. Engineers: their status, tools and materials; 2. Basic mechanical principles; 3. Mechanical toys and machines described in Chinese works; 4. Vehicles for land transport and design of an efficient horse harness; 5. Clockwork: six hidden centuries; 6. Vertical and horizontal mountings, windmills and aeronautics; Bibliography; Table of Chinese dynastics; Index.