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西方人独立发明了指南针?

已有 5028 次阅读 2011-1-4 23:49 |个人分类:地球物理及仪器|系统分类:科研笔记| 指南针, Alexander, Neckham

    一般认为,指南针是从中国经阿拉伯由十字军传到欧洲的。然而,现有文献表明,西方人独立发明了指南针!在1186年,Alexander Neckham在书中指出,指南针在欧洲早就用作导航设备。

     在A.A. Kaufman等人主编的“PRINCIPLES OF THE MAGNETIC METHODS IN GEOPHYSICS”   中,有这样一段文字:

    For a long time it has been an opinion that this discovery in China was brought by Arabs to the Mediterranean and was used the Crusaders. At the same time, there are indications that the compass was independently invented in north-western Europe, probably in England, earlier than elsewhere. For instance, in the year 1186, the monk Alexander Neckham mentioned the compass as if it is already a well known device.

   在维基百科关于 Alexander Neckham 的条目(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Neckam)中,也有如下文字:

  Neckam has preserved to us the earliest European notices of the magnet as a guide to seamen, the early compass. Outside China, these seem to be the earliest records (the Chinese encylopaedist Shen Kuo gave the first clear account of suspended magnetic compasses a hundred years earlier in 1088 AD with his book Mengxibitan, or Dream Pool Essays). It was probably in Paris that Neckam heard how a ship, among its other stores, must have a needle placed above a magnet (the De utensilibus assumes a needle mounted on a pivot), which would revolve until its point looked north, and guide sailors in murky weather or on starless nights. Neckam does not seem to think of this as a startling novelty: he merely records what had apparently become the regular practice of many seamen of the Catholic world.

  



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