指南针

Compass

Who and When was it made?

The Chinese by the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD)

Why was it invented?

The compass was originally used for divination and geomancy

How does it work?

There are many different types of compasses that were in use. the first one was using north-south oriented lodestone ladle-and-bowl shaped compass that would point south which was generally used for divination. The second one was the first to have a recorded history of being used for navigation by Zhu Yu. It was heated iron or steel shaped as a fish and placed in a bowl of water which produced a weak magnetic force via remanence and induction.
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Was anything inspired by this?

Inspired no, but because of the work the Chinese did figuring out that you can magnetize the iron used inside of it. Which then led to the compass becoming easier to use and more efficient over time.

Summary Time

The main way in which compasses got to Europe was through travel and exploration. From the Chinese having an extremely large navel presence to Europe traveling to China and taking things from their culture. I feel as though this took a while to get to Europe because even though they like to claim they were more advanced that China they weren't so it took them longer to figure out the same things they already had. The main reason why Europe gets credit for this invention is because they invented things like the steam engine and it makes more sense for a country that could do that than a country that had not to have invented it because they were "not as advanced" as they were.


The main things i learned from this lesson is that the compass was originally used for more simple things and it then was taken and used for more advanced things. I also learned that in many cases a lot of things were originally from China then later taken and reclaimed as their own invention later. The Chinese were very innovative people who were well advanced before their time but sense there was not a formal way to keep records when many of these things were invented they were not given the credit because it was recorded somewhere else.

What the ancients knew Chinese Magnetic Compass