• Studies in the History of Natural Sciences NO.1 2003

Studies in the History of Natural Sciences  NO.1 2003




The Chronology of Hertz's Electromagnetic Researches and the Process of the Conversion of His Thought ……QIAN Changyan

【Abstract】 This paper makes a careful investigation on the chronology of Hertz's electromagnetic researches according to his Memoirs·Letters·Diaries, Electric Waves, Miscellaneous Papers and his correspondence with the Maxwellians, points out that some scholars have misunderstanding in this aspect, and provides a more reasonable chronology of Hertz's electromagnetic researches. Based on the investigation, it makes a deeper analysis on the process of the conversion of Hertz's thought in electromagnetic researches, and concludes that the conversion can be divided into three stages, which took place respectively between November 1878 and June 1884, between October 1886 and March 1888, and between April 1888 and December 1891. According to the analysis on his important published papers of electromagnetic researches during each stage, it is argued that the major conversion of Hertz's thought took place respectively between September 1887 and March 1888, and between April 1888 and December 1890. The former is the conversion process from the idea of "waves in wires" to the idea of "waves in air", which was mainly attained with Helmhioltz's electrodynamic framework; the latter is Hertz's conversion from Helmholtz's electrodynamic theory to Maxwell's electromagnetic field theory, in which Hertz's correspondence with British and Irish physicists between June 1888 and December 1890 played a vital role. Not only had his work a great influence on the progress of physics from the end of 19th century to the early 20th century, but also it had inspired historians of science and technology.




Astanga and Tridosa:The Ayurvedical Doctrine in Chinese Documents from Dunhuang and Turfan……CHEN Ming

【Abstract】 The Ayurveda was a main medical system in ancient India. The relationship of influence between it and Chinese medicine always is an important question for discussion. Лx09888 and Лx18173, two fragments from Turfan and Dunhuang separately, have explained infrequently the content of Astdnga and Tridosa, the obvious Ayurvedical doctrine. So. thisis a direct evidence that has reflected the transmission of Ayurvedical doctrine in Dunhuang and Turfan. In explaining each of the medical terms inЛx09888 and Лx18173, this article studies their important value in the history of Sino-Indian medical exchanges.




Research on the Chi System of Records of Historical Astronomical Phenomena……WANG Yumin

【Abstract】 The records of historical astronomical phenomena using "zhang, chi, cun" and the records of "big as a peach" belong to one kind of systematic measurement. They might be called "Chi System"in the records of historical astronomical phenomena by a jojnt name. There was a model of celestial sphere when the ancients observed the sky with the naked eye. According to this model of sphere and to the Conversion standard oflchi = l degree, the author has gained the geometric meaning of the records of "zhang , chi, cun", and quantified the records of "big as X" to the apparent diameter and magnitude. Finally, the author inte- grates the "big as X" records with the "chi, cun" records by the model of celestial sphere.Through the analysis of the origin of the Chi System, the author has also obtained that the semi-diameter of the celestial sphere is about 13 meters. This paper has proved the existence of this celestial sphere in many aspects, for example, psychological behavior factor, the radius of planetarium an utical "qian xing method".As people always regard the vault of heaven as a plane hemisphere, they have the common effect of false impression in their minds when they observe the sky with the naked eyes. In fact the ancient observational data contained some systematic errors. Under different illumination and weather, the vault of heaven has various plane degrees. Here we can define "the angle of apparent plane degrees" to quantify them now.In order to correct the errors, the author has calculated a series of reduction tables, and we can use these tables to change the apparent height or size to the true height or size.The purpose of the paper is to provide more quantification basis for ancient records of astronomical phenomena just as stars and planets invasion, (super) novae, comets, meteors, sunspots and certain queer celestial phenomena.




The Origination of Jiuzhang Suanfa Bilei Daquan from Jiuzhang……ZHANG Jiuchun

【Abstract】 Jiuzhang Suanfa Bilei Daquan (called Daquan for short), which was written by Wu Jing in 1450, is a mathematics book. It serves as a link between past and future in the history of mathematics of Ming Dynasty. It also has close relations to Jiuzhang. This paper not only compares it in detail with Jiuzhang Suanshu's text, the annotation of Liu Hui and Li Chunfeng, and the detailed explanation of Jia Xian and Yang Hui, but also analyses their relationship. It concludes that Daquan had been influenced greatly by Zuanlei; Wu Jing had read Jiuzhang Suanshu's text and the annotation of Liu Hui and Li Chunfeng by reading Xiangjie Jiuzhang Suanfa, but he had not read the separate edition entitled Jiuzhang Suanshu including only the annotation of Liu Hui and Li Chunfeng. Furthermore, the author thinks that the publication of Daquan is an important turning point in the spread of Jiuzhang Suanshu. At the end of the paper, the author has also corrected one wrong view in the researchers of his predecessors.




A Selected Analysis on the Study of Josephus Problem in the Orient……SHEN Kangshen

【Abstract】 Historically there were several Josephus Problems in the Orient. Different from that of the West, the narration of their relevant story of the Orient is quite humourous and dramatic, and viewed from the demands of mathematics, they are indeed the further development of the Problem. This paper gives 4 typical examples of China and Japan, which have so far continued to challenge modern combinatorial mathematics.




Reflection About Joseph Needham's Work by Some Western Scholars:Some Historiographical Issues About Studies of the History of Chinese Science……LIU Bing

【Abstract】 Taking the contribution and meaning of Joseph Needhamd's work as a start point, based on some researches by foreign scholars, this paper, in the background of international researches on the history of Chinese science , analyzed some concepts , hypotheses and existing problems in Joseph Needham's work, tried to find the new trends of international researches on the history of Chinese science in ideas and methodology, and tried to make some summaries on such issues.




Sociobiology in China……HONG Fan

【Abstract】 The reception and spread of sociobiology are rather less enthusiastic in China than fn America and other Western countries. E. O. Wilson has met a similar fate as his precursor Darwin. The fact that people advocate their theories is due to the need for social development rather than a spontaneous result of the development of science. Intellectuals hope to promote the process of social reforms by virtue of the power of science. Although most of them agree with the theories of sociobiology, its methods and theories can in no manner be combined with the practice of scientific research. Therefore, a number of admirers have become irrelevant. The criticisms that Wilson propounded here are much less than in America, but that does not mean that he is more popular in China. Sociobiology has fortunately escaped from being criticized by ideology and interrogated by science, but it has to suffer from the desolation of scientific practice. Up to now there are no universities or colleges that offer courses in sociobiology, nor are there any special issues and research groups. In biology textbooks used in the higher education system, few ideas relating to sociobiology are mentioned. In short, sociobiology as a discipline still remains on paper in China.