• Studies in the History of Natural Sciences NO.2 2009
  • Update Time: 2013-10-12

Studies in the History of Natural Sciences  NO.2 2009 

Mapping Modern Medicine in China: Impact of Rockefeller Foundation

ZHANG Daqing

(Center for the History of Medicine, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China)

Abstract The three surveys on health-care and medicine in China by the China Medical Commission of Rockefeller Foundation and its effect on China's medical education and health-care are reviewed in detail according to the archives of the foundation and other historical sources. These surveys not only prove the possibility of the foundation's Chinese medical project, but also provide a lot of information for American medical circles to understand the situation of health-care and medical education in China. The fruits of the Rockefeller Foundation plays an important role in mapping the modern medicine in China.

Key words Rockefeller Foundation, China Medical Foundation, history of medicine in China

The Formation Process of Faraday's Thought of Lines of Force

WANG Luoyin, HU Huakai, SUN Hongqing

(University of Science & Technology of China, Department for the Historyof Science & Technology and Archaeometry, Hefei 230026, China)

Abstract Being of importance for classical electromagnetism, Faraday's thoughe of lines of force plays a vital role in the generation of the electromagnetism of Maxwell. Based on Faraday's Diary and other correlated materials, this article analyses and discusses the formation and development of Faraday's thought of lines of force and some other correlated questions, elucidates the tight link between Faraday's thought of lines of force and his experimental researches, and illustrate the basic content and significance of Faraday's thought of lines of force.

Key words Faraday, lines of force, Faraday's Diary, experiment

The Work of Wu Taitsun and Yang Chenning on the Relations Between Gauge Fields and Fiber Bundles

FENG Xiaohua, GAO Ce

(Research Center for Philosophy of Science and Technology,Shanxi University,Taiyuan 030006, China)

Abstract In the history of natural science, the question on the relationship between mathematics and physics has been a very important and open issue. There are many classical examples to explain this relationship. One of the classical examples is the relationship between Gauge fields and fiber bundles. It is very important not only for physics but also for mathematics. Based on first-hand materials, this article mainly focuses on the whole process from bringing up the question by Yang Chenning to resolving it by Wu Taitsun and Yang Chenning.

Key words gauge field, fiber bundle, Wu Taitsun, Yang Chenning

Reconstructing the Proof of Babylonian Volume Formula for the Frustum of a Square Pyramid

ZHAO Jiwei, WANG Pengyun

(Centre for History of Mathematics and Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China)

Abstract In ancient Babylonian mathematics, the expression of volume formula for the frustum of a square pyramid is much more complicated than its modern form. Many works of the history of mathematics just list the formula without explaining. Ivor Grattan-Guinness gave an explanation about the formula by means of the segmentation method used by the ancient Chinese mathematician Liu Hui. This paper points out that Guinness' combination of the segments is not quite reasonable and reconstructs the proof for the Babylonian volume formula by analogizing the plane case to the space case, i.e., by analogizing intermediate segment of the trapezoid to the intermediate plane of the frustum of a square pyramid. The frustum volume of a square pyramid is eventually resolved into the volumes of a regular prism and special upright slices. The reconstruction of the proof of this volume formula can not only deepen the understanding of Babylonian geometrical thoughts, but also benefit the teaching of this volume formula.

Key words Babylonian,volume formula for the frustum of a square pyramid,analogy, reconstruction of ancient proofs

The Research on Emile Borel's Work Relative to Theory of Zero Measure Set

WANG Quanlai

(The College of Computer and Information Engineering, Tianjin Normal University,Tianjin 300387,China)

Abstract Theory of zero measure set is an important and difficult question in measure theory. This paper is based on Borel's work relative to zero measure set. It carefully investigates thought background of proposing zero measure set, thought process of proposing asymptotic measure and rarefaction of proposing zero measure set, and influences on M.Fréchet and Jr.Marshall Hall. Based on the investigation, it points out that Borel studied the classification and properties of zero measure set during the research on monogenic function. He gave the concept of asymptotic measure in 1919 and rarefaction in 1935. In 1948,Borel gave three important methods of calculation of rarefaction in order to study the vector sum of zero measure set.

Key words E.Borel, zero measure set, asymptotic measure, rarefaction

An Exploration of the Biographical Information of Liu Xin, Summer Astronomer of the Imperial Board of Astronomyin Ming Dynasty

CHEN Zhanshan

(College of Liberal Arts, Shantou University, Guangdong 515063, China)

Abstract Liu Xin is an accomplished official of the Imperial Board of Astronomy in early Ming Dynasty. Covering Islamic astronomy and calendrical studies, his academic research made considerable progress. On the basis of previous study, this paper further investigates Liu's life and his academic contributions by combining the newly discovered sources, arguing that "Liu Zhongfu" narrated in Wugongji by Xu Youzhen in Ming Dynasty is none other than Liu Xin. It is mentioned in Wugongji that Liu wrote the manuscript of Calendar of the Western Regions. Liu Xin was distinguished in academic research. It is a pity that he young, with his deeds and works being neglected.

Key words Liu Xin, achievements, academic contribution

On the Composition and Circulation of Jie Xuan's Xuanji Yishu

SUN Chengsheng

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

Abstract Western natural philosophy based on Aristotelian doctrines was largely introduced into China by Jesuits in late Ming and early Qing. It had a great impact on the Chinese literati since then. Jie Xuan's Xuanji Yishu is one of the best examples of such an impact. This paper discusses the composition and circulation of the book in correlated social and cultural contexts, and compares the differences among its various versions. Its composition and circulation reflect the social background and cultural needs of different periods, witnessing the transition of thoughts in the Qing dynasty from one perspective.

Key words Jie Xuan, Xuanji Yishu, Xietian Xinyu, natural philosophy, Chinese origin of western learning (xi xue zhong yuan)

Study on the Masonry of Traditional Chinese Architecture During and After the Sui and Tang Dynasties

LI Zhen

(Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China)

Abstract This paper probes into the masonry of traditional Chinese architecture during and after the Sui and Tang Dynasties, analyzes the change of quarrying and stone-working ability in the Tang and Song Dynasties, and points out the new development named “bianleng” in the Tang-Song period, with a discussion on the other advancement of construction skills in the local areas during the Qing Dynasty.

Key words stone-working, “bianleng”, skills

On the Relation Between the Historiography of Science and Historiography

JIA Yushu, XING Runchuan

(Research Center for Philosophy of Science and Technology, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China)

Abstract Belonging to historiography, the historiography of science in the language of historiography has done away with the blind faith of traditional historiography of science in scientific text and gone towards social text. As a result. the historiography of science was divided into internal and external histories of science, and the contents and methodology of science were greatly enriched. In the meantime, the non-scientific tendency of historiography of science was also initiated. The historiography of science should make full use of its unique theoretical and methodological resource in the amphibiousness of both science and history, and face the complex and acute problems of historical epistemology, methodology and axiology, such as scientiem and historism, while the entire history, including the history of science in the context of science should be reflected on with greater depth.

Key words historiography of science, historiography, philosopgy of history, scientism, historism

The Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus in the History—An Introduction and Review on Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus

DENG Kehui

(Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Huhhot, 010022, China;College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Donghua University, Shanghai, 200051, China)

Abstract Written by the astronomer and historian of science Prof. Owen Gingerich of Harvard University, Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus is a biographic book about the history of academic research of chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus for about 30 years. The writer reveals many inside stories and the historical veins of important astronomical discoveries in the 16th and 17th centuries. The book deals with the history of acceptance and circulation about Copernicus's astronomy, and is of significance for historiography. 

Key words Book Nobody Read, the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus, study in the history of natural science, study on cosmology