• Studies in the History of Natural Sciences NO.4 2002

Studies in the History of Natural Sciences  NO.4 2002

西周既望历日与建正范围研究……李 勇( 289)

Research on the Jiwang Date and Jianzheng Range in the Western Zhou Dynasty……LI Yong (289)

【Abstract】 By use of the calendar having the characters of the moon's age, this paper derives that the Jianzheng(the Chinese name for the first month within one year)ranges are Chou, Yin, Mao and Chen(the names of earthly branches) from calculating 16 Jiwang (near full moon)dates recorded in Western Zhou documents and vessels. In the Jinwen calendar (the data engraved in bronze vessels) given by the Xia Shang Zhou Chronology Project, both the Jianzheng and the moon's age values of the Jiwang dates are also analysed.

明末平仪(Planispheric Astrolabe ) 在中国的传播…… (韩)安大玉(299)

On the Transmission of the Planisphere Astrolabe to China in Late Ming Period……AHN Daeok(299)

【Abstract】 The planisphere astrolabe, or the astrolabe in the narrower sense, was one of the most important astronomical instruments in the Middle Ages, both in Islamic Orient and in Europe. It was highly prized and widely used for its convenience and capacity.It was,however,rarely employed in China or in East Asia, partly for the different astronomical system and partly for lack of Greek mathematical and astronomical concepts,i.e.Ptolemic geocentric theory.It goes without saying that there was a geographical and cultural gap between two continents. During the late Ming period,the astrolabe was for the second time in history re introduced to Chinese society by an Italian Jesuit named Matteo Ricci(the first time was in Yuan Dynasty by an Islamic astronomer). Hun Gai Tong Xian Tu Shuo (1607)arranged by Li Zhi zao, which was based on Clavius's Astrolabium ,was actually the first book which attempted to introduce the structure and the usage of the astrolabe.Then why was Li willing to accept it in spite of the differences between two astronomical systems?Was it simply because Western instrument or Western learning in large was more accurate and useful than the Chinese counterpart?Furthermore,why did he name it as Hun Gai Tong Xian?Undoubtedly Huntian and Gaitian were two old astronomical theories and had nothing to do with the Western Ptolemic theory. In conclusion, Hun Gai Tong Xian Tu Shuo was one of the first efforts to accept the Western astronomical system since he found it useful and accurate, but he also found in it a possibility to harmonize two contradictory Chinese astronomical systems, namely, Huntian and Gaitian.There was, however, too much emphasis on the same aspects of Chinese Western astronomical systems,i.e.the earth's sphericity in Gaitian, so that he failed to show the diffierences or merits of the Western system.On the other hand,his overemphasis on practical usage also made him neglect the mathematical and theoretical parts. As a result,it later had only served as a motive for the wide spread of"the theory of the Chinese origin of Western learning"without the dissemination or understanding of the astrolabe itself.

艾火与天火——灸疗法诞生之谜…… (台)李建民(320)

Fire and the Origins of Moxibustion……LI Jianmin(320)

【Abstract】 Although moxibustion is still in daily use and numerous practitioners have through the ages transmitted related texts and practices,the origins of this therapy remain a mystery.The author focusses on an aspect of the mystery overlooked by previous scholars,namely,the problem of the source of ignition.According to the earliest sources,the fire of moxibustion should come from the sun.This is one reason why mugwort was the material chosen to be burned as the only medium suitable for attracting"solar fire". This paper examines conceptions of fire in ancient medical texts to illuminate the early history of moxibustion.The process of moxibustion included two elements:a type of mirror,or"solar speculum,"and mugwort.The preference for mugwork was related to its use in exorcistic practices of steaming and cauterization.The vapors produced by its buring were thought to be effective for expelling disease causing demons.Mugwort had been used to "attract"solar fire since the Warring States period at the latest,and burning it bacame the standard method of moxibustion.Consequently,"celestial fire"was from early on recognized as the prime source of moxibustion fire.Shamans used their fire producing mirrors as media to conduct celestial and human pneumas, and transform"external fire"into"internal fire."This procedure,they believed,could penetrate the vessels of an afflicted person and expel noxious spirits. Fire,like qi (pneuma), mai (vessels)and ganying (resonance) was one of the core categories of ancient Chinese medicine. Inquiry into early attitudes towards fire offers special insight into the evolution of the history of Chinese medical thought.

方以智“光肥影瘦”说的实验研究…… 王永礼 胡化凯(332)

Experimental Study on Fang Yizhi’s Theory of Light:Guang Fei Ying Shou……WANG Yongli ,HU Huakai (332)

【Abstract】 This paper analyses some experiments that Fang Yizhi discussed in his theory about Guang Fei Ying Shou,points out that Fang's theory does not deal with the phenomenon of the light diffracted, but merely refers to the phenoemnon of the puncture forming picture and the atmosphere scattering light.

宇宙射线的早期研究……姚立澄( 338 )

History of the Discovery of Cosmic Rays……YAO Licheng(338)

【Abstract】 Cosmic rays are important research topics of high energy astrophysics and nuclear physics This article straightens out and analyses literature of cosmic rays research in the early years,and affirms the historical process of the discovery of cosmic rays:(1)According to the phenomena of leakage of electric charge from an electroscope,Coulomb found that the electric charge could not be kept for a long time and that it would lose slowly and finally disappear completely Through the phenomena,Rutherford believed that the leakage was caused by the penetrating rays in the earth's atmosphere,and his idea is a turning point of research (2)Wulf improved on the old type of electroscope and designed a new one,which heightened greatly the precision of experiment His work laid an experimental foundation for later researches From 1911 to 1933,Hess thought of the ultra rays as coming from the outer space above the earth after he put in practice 10 times ballon flight in the upper air In fact,he opened a new research field of physics since then (4)Millikan doubted Hess's conclusion,so he made extensive experiments in America,in which he firstly used a sounding balloon,and finally his work made Hess's conclusion to be accepted by scientists 


Karl Pearson’s Researches on the History and Ideas of Historiography……LI Xingmin(354 )

【Abstract】 Karl Pearson,English philosopher scientist,is a historian in reality as well as in name.This paper discusses comprehensively and thoroughly his research practices and interesting opinions on history of science,history of remote antiquity & civilization,history of witchcraft,history of Middle Ages,history of religion,history of arts,history of sex, history of German humanism and history of ideas.His views of historiography are also expounded.All of the paper has enlightening values for us.

评《明清测天仪器之欧化》……潘 鼐( 370)

A Commentary on The Europeanization of Astronomical Instruments in the Ming

and Qing China……PAN Nai(370)

【Abstract】 Through collecting as fully as possible Chinese documents from the Ming and Qing period to modern times, consulting original works of the West and the discussions by persons still alive, as well as the original instruments preserved by European observatories and museums, and probing deeply into the astronomical knowledge and technology of Europe spread into China during the 17th and 18th centuries and their historical position as well as their impact on the development of surveying celestial bodies, the author of The Europeanization of Astronomical Instruments in the Ming and Qing China extends the study of Ming and Qing China's astronomy from natural science and the divination for configurations of the stars to a path that has not yet been attached to with importance, namely, the domain of technology. This book looks back on the course of development of ancient European and Chinese instruments, describes and analyses in a comprehensive fashion the instruments made by the Jesuits Johann Adam Schall von Bell, Ferdinand Verbiest and Ignace K o ¨gler for the Beijing Observatory, covering the design, manufacturing technology, installation, use, techinical performance and precision of these instruments and being attached to with lots of illustrations, thus presenting a general picture of the Europeanization of Chinese astronomical instruments. The attitude of the author towards the work done by the Jesuit missionaries is fair and reasonable, and his appraisal for them is also just. A new book with original ideas is bound to have some problems that remain to be discussed. As to the missing parts of the instruments of Beijing Observatory, documentary clues might be found upon further investigation. It is probably not right to decide that the naked eye is capable of distinguishing down to the second according to the data of star catalogues and the readings of instruments. As regards the maker and the time of making for the five instruments that had been in use before Ferdinand Verbiest manufactured his instruments, the inferences of the author also seem to be rather doubtful,because these instruments might be "models"made by Ferdinand Verbiest. Besides, there are also errors or places worth discussing about the portrait of Xu Guang qi chosen by the author, the wording, the stamping of characters and the translated names for Western astronomers. In short, this book sets a precedent for inquiring into Ming and Qing astronomical surveying installations from the technological point of view.It is comprehensive in its discussion with distinctive qualities and a satisfactory conclusion, so that it might be rated as extremely valuable for looking into the history of Chinese astronomy and the history of cultural exchange between China and the West.