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The Genius Of China 3000 Yea

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The Genius Of China - 3000 Yea

The World is forever in debt to China for its innovations. Ancient China was

extreme advance and many of its discoveries are still in use today. This is what Robert

Temple, the author of The Genius of China 3000 years of science, discovery and

invention. The book is based on 11 main parts of Chinese innovation. Within these 11

categories, there are 3 main parts that contain the most significant inventions. Robert

Temple concentrates the bulk of his examples in these three categories, agriculture,

domestic and industrial technology , and engineering. Temple's examples were not limited

to these fields of innovation. The Chinese excelled in many other areas, including

mathematics, warfare and transportation, to name a few. Although Temple wrote about

eleven fields of invention, I feel that these three sections contain the greatest examples of

Chinese innovation, and the debt that the modern world owes China.

The first main area is the field of engineering. Within this chapter, the

development of iron and steel is the greatest achievement. The development of iron and

steel led to other advances. By at least the 4th century the Chinese have developed blast

furnaces to obtain cast iron from iron ore. This was 1200 years before the first blast

furnace showed up in Europe. The reasons that the author gave to explain the reasons

why the Chinese developed this technology are simple. The Chinese had access to large

amounts of clay, the key ingredient in making blast furnaces. The Chinese also figured out

that by adding a substance they called :Black Earth,' they could lower the melting point of


Another major invention of the Chinese, that led to other achievements, is steel.

The common belief today is that Henry Bessemer discovered the process of refining iron

into steel. The fact is Chinese had developed the process to refine iron into steel in the

second century BC The Chinese learned that by injecting oxygen into the blast furnace,

they could remove the carbon from the iron. The Chinese called this process the

'hundred refinings method' since they repeated the process that many times. The finished

product was highly prized in China for its strength and ability to hold an edge on a sword.

The Chinese would weld the steel onto weaker iron thus creating a strong edge and a

superior weapon. The Chinese iron and steel workers were the best at making different

types of metals into modern times. But then, no one else could have done so at the time,

since iron existed nowhere else but in China.

The Chinese invented the chain pump in the first century AD The chain pump

allows water to the pumped from lower to higher elevations. The chain pumps were used

for draining and pumping in civil engineering, but what is more important is it was used

for irrigation. Irrigation allows for greater and more intense farming, thus resulting in a

better crop yield. With the greater crop yields larger populations can be supported. The

chain pump was exported to all parts of the world by way of visiting ambassadors and

dignitaries. The first European chain pump appeared in the sixteenth century, and was a

direct copy of the Chinese version.

The second area of great Chinese achievement is in domestic and industrial

technology. The most recognized Chinese invention is in the field of ...

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Keywords: the genius of china 3 000 years of science discovery and invention, the genius of china robert temple

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