• Studies in the History of Natural Sciences NO.3 2001

Studies in the History of Natural Sciences  NO.3 2001




An Preliminary Research on the Unearthed Mathematics Book Suanshu Shu……ZOU Dahai

【Abstract】 The Transcription of bamboo Suanshu Shu ( an unearthed bamboo book of mathematics) published latest gives a new chance to study the history of Chinese mathematics in ancient times.By analyzing the style and structure of the Suanshu Shu, comparing the Suanshu Shu and the Ni ne Chapters on Mathematical Procedures, and combining other literatures and soc ial backgrounds to investigate,the author concludes:the Suanshu Shu is a com bined book with at least two origins;there are no direct influences between the texts of the Suanshu Shu and the Nine Chapters on Mathematical Procedures, which have the same origins in Pre Qin Period;the main mathematical methods i n the Nine Chapters on Mathematical Procedures had occurred in Pre Qin Peri od;serving to the lower government administration,many parts of the Suanshu Shu were written in the light of the methods of a certain mathematics book (o r its ramification) in Pre Qin Period which had changed into the primary origin of the Nine Chapters on Mathematical Procedures. The Suanshu Shu is significant to the establishment of the evolution of the practical algorithm mathematics from the Warring States to the Han Dynasty.




Physical Analysis on the Acoustical A chievement of Ruan Yi's and Hu Yuan's Pitch-pipes in Different Diameters……XU Fei

【Abstract】 In examining ancient literatures in China,we discovere d a set of pitch pipes in San Fen Sun Yi with detailed data and a figure pub lished at the beginning of the 11th century.This is believed to be the earliest document available today which records all the data about pipes with different diameters.Through use of the contemporary theory of acoustics in physics,we have proved that the pipes successfully solved the problem of “end effect”,wh ic h means that the frequency of every one of the pipes is consistent with the sa me note of string,while every two pipes with an octave interval have exactly t wo times frequency as long as we have a correct understanding about the shape o f the pipes.All of our research results show that this set of pitch pipes,creat ed by Ruan Yi and Hu Yuan,might be taken as the first successful desigh of pitc h pipes under the rule of Addition or Subtract of A Third,San Fen Sun Yi .




Theoretical Studies During the Modernization of Chinese Geography……ZHANG Jiuchen

【Abstract】 The difference in the explanation of the natur e of geography has been a global problem When modern geography was spreading i nto China,the clashing of traditional ideas and modern thoughts caused even wide r discussions on the nature of geography Among modern Chinese geographers,ther e were many returned students As they studied in different countries and unde r different teachers,they differed from one another in their geographical theor ies In the 1920s to the 1940s,the discussions of Chinese scholars on the content,method of research and disciplinary system of modern Chinese geography became a prominent phenomenon in the development of modern geography in Chin a Through such discussions,Chinese scholars hoped to know clearly about the de velopment orientation of geography and find out the problems of traditional geo graphy Although they failed to reach a common understanding,the discussions brought about a great advance of Chinese geography,which was beneficial to the d evelopment of geography in China More importantly ,they produced an impact o n several generations of chinese scholars with regard to their research orientat ion and method of research,making lots of them to devote themselves to the study of meteorology,pedology and the geographical distribution of population and various nationalities Meanwhile,they also paid great attention to survey and study on the relationship between mankind and environment as well as on differ ent regions Therefore,we cannot understand the development of modern Chinese geography with out doing research on the course of its theoretical study This paper deals wit h the modern theoretical study on geographical content,character and method in the hope of reflecting the level of modern Chinese geography and its shortcomin gs. 




Research on the Timber-making Tools for Early Chinese Wooden Architecture and Their Related Techniques……LI Zhen

【Abstract】 After the Sui and Tang Dynasties,China evidently had a log system in architecture when the frame saw was used to divide wood.But befor e the Northern and Southern Dynasties,timber was prepared by slitting and cuttin g,and this method had been used in the Primitive Society already.Most of these s pecial tools was named as “stone wedge”,which was also called “qiu”in the Bronze Society,while others were known as “ qiang” and “jun 镌” used for making timber of different sizes.Another t ool by the name of “ jin 斤” was used cooperatively in this woodwork proces sing.The evolution of timbering tools exerted an influence on all aspects of tra ditional Chinese architecture,such as the size of material,scale of beam section and precision of wood working. 




Possible Years for the Cyclical Sacrifice System of King Xin of Late Shang……XU Fengxian

【Abstract】 In late Shang,the king offered sacrifices to their anc estors in five ritual forms.Since it takes 360 or 370 days to complete a sacrif i cing cycle ,the cycle was in fact a timing system.On some occasions,years of the king,months ,cyclical days and sacrificing forms are recorded on an oracle bo ne or a bronze vessel,so it is possible to use such records to determine the calen drical character of the time concerned ,and then decide which years the calenda r potentially belongs to. In this paper,a close study is made on the sacrificing materials of King Dixin ,the last king of the Shang Dynasty,and the conclusion is drawn that there are two calendrical possibilities for the second year of King Dixin,one being that the first day of the second month should be bingchen ,and the other being t hat the first day of the second month should be dingsi for the cyclical da te.After comprehensive study of other materials,the paper proposes the year 10 75 BC to be the first year of King Dixin. 




A Primary Inquiry into the Chronology of Western Zhou after Gong-he Era and Eastern Zhou in Shiji……CHEN Meidong

【Abstract】 Based on an analysis of years and dates record ed in “chronology of the twelve vassals”,the 12 biographies of dukes and some of the “basic annals” in Shiji ,this paper shows that after the Gong he E ra and throughout the Eastern Zhou,the main way of calculating the year of a c ertain king or vassal is to calculate from the one following the death of his predecessor,while the subsidiary way is to calculate from the very year the ol d king died,and on some occasions,irregular method is also adopted.During the Sp ring and Autumn Period,calendars used by other States are largely identical bu t with minor differences to that used in State Lu,and the first month of a year may be the one containing or after winter solstice.Sima Qian's account of thos e chronologies and calendar dates is based on reliable historical materials such as Chunqiu Lipu Die ,so the chronology of Western Zhou after the Gon g he Era and that of the Eastern Zhou reconstructed by him is reliable on the whole,with only very low rate of errors.The year 841 BC,the first year of th e Gong he period,is an unshakable base point for calculation of the years both after it and before it. 




A Research on the Voice of Comets in Chinese Historical Records……ZHUANG Tianshan

【Abstract】 The fact that the comet can make sound was first put f orward by the au thor in 1988,and later was also reported by his at an international meeting in F inland.But there were no special articles discussed on that then.This research p aper checks and analyses the data about the nine voiced comets which were record ed in 14 Chinese chorographies since the 18th century and also calculates their whole ephemeris.According the above analysis,the paper comes to the conclusion:m akes the conclusion that the tail of the 1861 II and 1910II,namly the Halley com e t that ever swept across the earth and made a sound which was probably entirely known by people.The six tails of the De Cheseaux comet which appeared in 1744 w ere entirely toward the earth.The sound of the comet was also probably made by t he matter dropped to the earth by the tail of the comet. The sound may come from the comet itself and reach the earth by the tail of the comet.The sound may also produce when the ionization particle bombards that of t he ionosphere of the earth or due to other undiscovered causes. There is a prodigious analogy between the physical phonation mechanism of the co met and the aurora,including the type of the sound.The phonating mechanism of th e aurora,especially its physical process,has not been completely settled as yet, neither has that of the comet in this paper. Of,course the sound of the comet recorded in some chorographies may be psycholog ical hallucination,but it is inculpable that some records are facts,particularly when the chorographies of two different provinces recorded at the some time tha t the same comet could make sound.