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双语科技百科(物理) 第40期:指南针

2024-03-01 07:24 已有人浏览
本文摘要:The Compass指南针The compass is considered to be one of the four great inventions of anaent China.指南针是中国古代“四大发明”之一。


The Compass指南针The compass is considered to be one of the four great inventions of anaent China.指南针是中国古代“四大发明”之一。Before the compass was invented, people depended upon the position of the sun and stars to tell them the direction when at sea, which only worked when it wasn’t cloudy. The invention of compass solved the problem.在指南针发明者以前,人们在茫茫大海上航行,仅靠太阳和星星的方位辨识方向,如果碰上阴雨天,就不会迷失方向。

而中国人发明者的指南针则协助人们解决问题了这个难题。Over 2,000 years ago, inthe Warring States Period, Chi-nese ancestors invented the earli-est compass-Si Nan, also known as the South Pointer. Si Nan was composed of two parts:a spoon and a tray. The spoon was cut from an intact piece of natural loadstone, with its handle as the South Pole and s round,smooth bottom as the center ofgravity. The tray, on the other hand, was made of bronze, and at the center, there was a round, smooth groove, carvedwith checks and words indicating the 24 directions. When the spoon was put into the groove, it would rotate flexibly. When the spoon stopped, its handle would point to the south.This instrument was the predecessor of the magnetic compass.早在2000多年前的战国时期,我们祖先就发明者了最先的指南针——司南。司南由一把“勺子”和一个“地盘”两部分构成。司南勺由整块磁石做成。



这种仪器就是指南针的前身。However, since was easy for natural loadstone ( magnetic iron oxide) tolose its magnetism, Si Nan could not be widely used. During the Northern Song Dy-nashjt, artificial magnetization was discovered, gMng rise to the Pointing-to-the-South Fish, which was made from a piece of thin iron sheet cut into the shape of a fish, magnetized in a geomagnetic field, and put into water, floating and lying norlh-to-south.However, due to its weak magnetic field, Pointing-to-the-South Fish was not of much pradical value. On the basis of the Pointing-to-the-South Fish,people replaced the thin iron sheet with a magnetized steel needle, gMng rise to the earliest artifiaally magnetic compass.由于天然磁石因压制加热更容易失磁,磁性较强,因而司南无法普遍流传。


后来,人们将指南鱼再行加以改进,把带上磁的薄片改为带上磁的钢针,建构了人造磁体指南针。The compass was soon employed in navigation. The earliest record on using the compass in navigation was in Zhu Yu’s Pin,g Zhou, Ke Tan ( written belween 1119~ 1125 ) ,which recorded Zhu Yu’s experiences in Guangzhou ( South China’s Guangdong Province) , where navigation was highly developed.Zhu also wrote a-bout some of the experienced sailors, The sailors know how to pinpoint the ship’s position; they watch the stars a night and the sun in the day, and when is cloudy, they use the compass.This might be the earliest record on the use of the compass in the world’s navigational his.ory.Initiated by the Chinese people, this newigational instrument was a grand innovation in ncrvigation technology.指南针发明者后迅速就应用于航海。世界上最先记述指南针应用于航海导航系统的文献是北宋咸淳年间(1119~1125)朱或所著《萍洲可谈》。



Soon after, Arabian sea boats also employed the navigation device, and went on to introduce it to the European countries. As Friedrich Engels, pointed out in his book Natural Dialectics,“The magnetic needle arrived in Europe via the Arabs in around 1180.”The stcrtemenf shows the Europeans applied the compass in ncrviga-tion 80 years after the Chinese.中国用于指南针导航系统旋即,就被阿拉伯海船使用,并经阿拉伯人把这一最出色发明者传遍欧洲。恩格斯在《自然辩证法》中认为,“磁针从阿拉伯人传至欧洲人手中在1180年左右”。中国人首先将指南针应用于航海比欧洲人最少早80年。The famous saentist Shen Kuo (the author of Dream Creek Notes ) of the Northern Song Dynasty discovered the existence of magnetic declination( the angu-lar devicrtion of a compass needle from true north) , after performing many saentffic expenments.He pointed out correctly that the magnetic poles of the earth were not in uniformity with the geographic poles. The use of marine compass and the theory of magnetic declincrtion combined played a most important role in the tong-distance sea voyages. For the first time in history, humans were able to navigate freely un-der any kind of weather conditions.Hence many new sea routes were opened to traffic, promoting the exchange of culture and trade among the people of the world.Words fail to describe the compass importance to navigcrtion.北宋知名科学家沈括(《梦溪笔谈》著者),在制作和应用于指南针的科学实践中找到了磁偏角的不存在。


Joseph Needham, a famous historian, once said to Chinese students:“In the realm of navigation, your ancestors were much more advanced than our ances-tors. Far before Europe, the Chinese already harnessed the wind power, with the coordination of fore (front)and aft ( rear) sails to navigate in any direction of the wind they encountered.Perhaps for this reason, in the history of navigation, China never used the galleys, which were rowed along by slaves as in anaent Greece or Rome.”西方知名历史学家李约瑟曾对其中国学生说道:“你们的祖先在航海方面远比我们的祖先远比先进设备。中国远在欧洲之前懂用前、后帆的系统御风而行,也许就是这个原因,在中国航海史上未曾用过多桨奴隶船。”The invention of the compass had epochal influence on navigation, opening up a new chapter in the history of world navigation. With its help, Admiral Zheng He made seven voyages across seas to Southeast Asia and around Indian Ocean in the early Ming Dynasty (1368 ~ 1644) , Christopher Columbus discovered the New Word, and Ferdinand Magellan sailed round the world.指南针的发明者,给航海事业带给了划时代的影响,世界航运史也由此盖住了新的一页。明朝初期郑和带领船队七下西洋,15世纪哥伦布找到新大陆和麦哲伦环绕着地球航行等伟业,都是指南针用作航海事业的结果。