Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 4, Physics and Physical Technology, Part 2, Mechanical Engineering

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 2, 1965 - Science - 816 pages
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As Dr Needham's immense undertaking gathers momentum it has been found necessary to subdivide volumes into parts, each to be bound and published separately. The first part of Volume 4, already published, deals with the physical sciences; the second with the diverse applications of physics in the many branches of mechanical engineering; and the third will deal with civil and hydraulic engineering and nautical technology. With this part of Volume 4, then, we come to the application by the Chinese of physical principles in the control of forces and in the use of power; we cross the frontier separating tools from the machine. We have already noticed that the ancient Chinese concept of chhi (somewhat similar to the pneuma of the Greeks) asserted itself prominently in acoustics; but we discover here that the Chinese tendency to think pneumatically was also responsible for a whole range of brilliant technological achievements, for example, the double-acting piston-bellows, the rotary winnowing-fan, and the water-powered metallurgical blowing-machine (ancestor of the steam-engine); as well as for some extraordinary insights and predictions in aeronautics.

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An excellent an accurate read. Better than the myth-spouting "journalism" we see too often these days. Good job!


List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Vehicles for land transport p
Powersources and their employment I Animal trac
Hydraulic engineering I Waterraising machinery
Powersources and their employment II Water flow
j Clockwork six hidden centuries p
k Vertical and horizontal mountings the revolving book
Powersources and their employment III Wind force
m The prehistory of aeronautical engineering p
n Conclusion p
Table of Chinese Dynasties

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Page 684 - Historia de las cosas mas notables, ritos y costumbres, Del gran Reyno de la China...
Page 696 - FARM ENGINEERING, The COMPLETE TEXT-BOOK of. Comprising Draining and Embanking ; Irrigation and Water Supply ; Farm Roads, Fences and Gates ; Farm Buildings ; Barn Implements and Machines ; Field Implements and Machines ; Agricultural Surveying, &c. By Professor JOHN SCOTT.

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About the author (1965)

Joseph Needham FRS (1900-1995) was the founder of the Science and Civilisation in China project.

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