• The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and technology NO.2 2010

The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and technology  NO.2 2010

Textual Research on the Production of Granulated Sugar Introduced

from India in the Tang Dynasty

LI Zhihuan

(Chongqing Municipal Popular Candy Company, Chongqing 400010, China)

Abstract   Based on historical context and an analysis of texts such as Xin Xiu Ben Cao (Revised Materia Medica) and Xuan Zang Zhuan (The Life of Xuan Zang), this article deduces that during the reign of the Tang emperor Taizong, only the methods of preparing cake sugar and hard molasses were introduced from India. It was only later, in the first year of the Longshuo reign of the Tang emperor Gaozong (A.D.661), when Indian sugar-making experts were invited to come to China that the Indian method of preparing granulated sugar was passed on to the Chinese.

Key words  honey,  Wang Xuance,  Xin Xiu Ben Cao (Revised Materia Medica), Dunhuang Canjuan (Dunhuang Scrolls), bamboo steamer, filter


The First Nuclear Reaction Accomplished in China

LIU Kwang-Ting

(Department of Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617)

Abstract  The first nuclear reaction in China was carried out at the Department of Physics, National Taiwan University in May and June 1948, by a research group led by Professor Yun-Kuei Tai. It was a repeat of the Cockcroft-Walton-type experiment, but at only 240 kilovolts, involving the bombardment of lithium with high-speed protons to produce two alpha particles. This paper describes the background and procedure of this experiment based on available literature. Evidently, Professor Yoritsune Ota was not an experienced nuclear physicist or the leader of this group, as has been mistakenly assumed, although he did participate in the study.

Key words  Nuclear disintegration, Department of Physics at National Taiwan University, Yun-Kuei TAI, Yoritsune Ota, clarification of misinterpretation


Research on the Development of Geology and its Institutionalization in China, 1912 to 1937

YANG Xiaoming,

(College of Humanities, Donghua University,Shanghai 201620,China)

LI Qiang

(College of Textiles, Donghua University,Shanghai 201620,China)

Abstract:Based on the process of the institutionalization of Chinese geology from 1912 to 1937, this article systematically describes geological education, R&D institutions, professional associations and academic intercourse during this period. It concludes that there is positive correlation between the rapid increase in geological knowledge and its institutionalization in China.

Key words: Chinese geology; knowledge increase; institutionalization


German Colonial Expansion in China and the Construction of the Shantung Railway

Wang Bin

(The Institute for the History of Natural Science, CAS,Beijing 100010,China)

Abstract In 1897 Germany occupied Kiautschou (Jiaozhou), and the next year forced the Qing government to sign the Kiautschou Leasehold Treaty, leased Kiautschou Bay and acquired the privileges of building railways, etc. In 1899, a syndicate of 14 German banks and enterprises was granted a railway concession by the Chinese Prime Minster and founded the Shantung Railway Company. The construction of the Shantung Railway was begun in 1899 and finished in 1904. The semi-colonial background of the railway helped to gain support from the German government, and at the same time made it necessary to coordinate with the Chinese government. It also determined that the construction capital, engineering personnel and railway materials mainly came from Germany.

Key words  Shantung Railway, Shantung Railway Company, German Colonial Expansion in China


Édouard Belin and the Early History of the Fax in China

LIU Na, LI Yanping

(Department of Physics, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China)


Abstract This article describes Édouard Belin’s lectures and demonstrations of fax technology in China in 1926. One of the inventors of fax technology, Belin lectured in Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, Shanghai and other cities, arousing considerable interest and influencing the development of fax technology in China.

Key words  Édouard Belin,fax,China


The Concept of the Celestial Sphere and the Astronomical Meaning of the Gui-lou Table in the Eastern Han Dynasty

——A Comparative study on related tables and theories in Ptolemy’s Almagest

DENG Kehui

(College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Donghua University, Shanghai, 201620, China;

Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Huhhot, 010022)


Abstract Based on a description of the celestial sphere and two astronomical tables in the Book of the Later Han (Houhanshu), this paper argues that in China the concept of the celestial sphere was constructed in the Eastern Han Dynasty. The paper also makes a comparison between the Houhanshu and Almagest regarding their descriptions of the celestial sphere and various celestial calculations, pointing out for the first time a common concept of approximate celestial latitude. In sum, the problems with which they were confronted were the same, but their approaches were different.

Key words Sifen li inthe Eastern Han Dynasty, Ptolemy’s Almagest, celestial sphere, Gui-lou table, approximate celestial latitude