Who Invented the Compass (Track the Story of the Invention of the Compass)
The Water Compass
Navigation is a basic human need. Even in hunting days, a man who gets up early in the morning to hunt never forgets his way home. In that damp, leafy cave there was always a campfire and a look longing for them.
People’s footsteps grow with courage, and finally one day they find that no matter the stars in the sky or the bark around them, they can no longer tell the direction of the cave. So in a fog that came out of nowhere, a stranger named Hou Feng sacrificed his newly developed magic weapon-the guide car.
Modern people generally believe that the descendants of Sina and Compass are direct descendants of CSR. It is also said that without them there would have been no great age of sailing.
No one knows who first put this magnet-made device on a sea ship. However, we do know that such ships first appeared in the sea near Canton.
Look at the stars at night, the sun during the day, and the compass at night.
Since the early days of human society, the Lingnan area where Guangzhou is located has been a resort for shipbuilding. The bronze bucket unearthed from the tomb of the Nanyue king in the Western Han Dynasty depicts a large boat full of soldiers and decorated with feathers, which is the epic praise of the ancestors for water athletes.
Early navigators were strongly limited by seamanship. Although we can find evidence of them sailing across the ocean in canoes or rafts from historical sites around the world, the closed, ignorant, and even degraded level of development of human communities on many islands also tells us that this kind of solitary ocean voyage way how expensive it is.
In the middle of the last century, the Norwegian Heyerdahl, who once imitated the feat of ancient humans crossing the ocean, wrote what he saw and heard on the reconstructed Balsa raft: “The dark waves stand like towers All around, myriads of luminous tropical stars seem to have a little reflection from the plankton in the sea. Time and evolution seem to have ceased to exist, and we are swallowed by the endless darkness under the stars, becoming an eternal aspect of history”. Obviously, the natural defect of human sense of direction needs more effective external force to make up.
In the Song Dynasty, the records of the construction of a large number of giant ships tell us that the ocean voyage in southern China reached a peak. Scholars said that this is inseparable from the rapid development of navigation technology. The sign of technological breakthrough is “the compass has been applied to navigation, which is an epoch-making event”.
The earliest record of compass recognized by the academic circle comes from Pingzhou, and it can be mentioned that Zhu Nian of the Northern Song Dynasty: “A ship master, proficient in geography, watched the stars at night, the sun during the day, and the compass in the dark, Or pick up the mud on the bottom of the sea with a rope hook, and then smell it, and you will know what he is going to do.” This book was written by Zhu Kui in the first year of Xuanhe (1119) in the Northern Song Dynasty. He wrote it based on what his father Zhu Fu saw and heard when he was in Guangzhou. From the second year of Beifuyuan to the first year of Chongning (1099-1102), Zhu Fu served as the governor of Guangzhou, which means that the compass used on ships in Guangzhou will not be later than this time.
This is the earliest record of using a compass in the history of world navigation.
Guide car model
The difference between day and night is the difference between life and death.
At the beginning of the birth of the ship, human beings generally only dared to sail as far as their eyesight could reach. There are not many obvious signs on the vast sea. Waves and fish, sun and stars, come and go, again and again. Only a handful of the most distinguished nautical groups can find their bearings on the ocean’s surface by relying on the stars overhead. The advent of the compass created new possibilities.
According to the research of modern scholars, the original compass in my country used the water floating method. Later, the water floating compass was called the water compass, that is, the magnetized iron needle passed through the rush and floated on the water surface, and the magnetic needle floated on the water surface and rotated to guide the direction. Combining the guide floating needle and the azimuth disc, it becomes a water compass. It appeared in the Southern Song Dynasty. Zhao of the Southern Song Dynasty said in “Zhu Fan Zhi”: “The sky is endless, the water is the same color, and the boats come and go, but there is only one compass. Day and night, just be careful. The difference between life and death is life and death.” There is a special person on board to take care of the compass , constantly correcting the heading. This is key to vessel safety. Don’t be careless.
Navigating with a compass should be said to be the beginning of latitude and longitude on today’s charts. With such advanced equipment, the overseas trade of the Song Dynasty surpassed that of the previous generation and became an important country engaged in overseas trade in the world. At that time, the traces of Chinese merchant ships were as close as North Korea and Japan, as far as the Korean peninsula and the east coast of Africa.
At this time, however, the ancient “astrology” still exists. In the fleet of Zheng He’s voyages to the West in the Ming Dynasty, we saw a star-pulling board with an exquisite structure. This is an important invention in the mature stage of ancient stargazing and navigation technology. The knowledge of marine geography, trade winds and ocean currents accumulated by ancient navigators for generations is of course a compulsory course for boatmen. What could be a better teacher than the unpredictable waves?
Long development, distant spread
The evolution of the ancient Chinese compass has gone through a long time. Scholars pointed out that Wang Chong’s “Lunheng” records that “Sinan dipper throws the ground to guide you”, which should imitate the form of the round-bottomed bucket used at that time, cut the magnet into a magnetic spoon, and put it on the occupied site to determine the north-south direction . Zhuang’s “Chicken Ribs” records that two water ladles are filled with iron filings, which shows the illusion that the two water ladles are attracted to each other, reflecting that in the early Southern Song Dynasty, Si Nan was replaced by a compass.
In ancient times, China also mastered the technology of using magnets to artificially magnetize the steel ***compass. Making Sina with magnets requires cutting jade, which is labor-intensive and time-consuming. And if the material is not refined, it is extremely inaccurate, and it is difficult to complete. This is not the case with artificial magnetized compasses. As long as the steel needle is rubbed on the magnet, the steel needle can be magnetized instantly. The earliest record of this invention can be found in the “Meng Qian Bi Tan” written by Shen Kuo (1031~1095), a scientist in the Northern Song Dynasty: “Fang Jia used a magnet to grind the tip of the needle, so it can be guided, but it is always slightly to the east, not all to the south. The water is floating. Swaying, can be used on fingers, paws, bowl lips. It runsThe speed is very fast, but it is strong and slippery and easy to fall off, it is better not to hang around. The method is to take a silkworm cocoon in Xindu, attach mustard seeds and wax to the waist of the needle, and hang it under the condition of no wind, so the needle is always a guide.” Regarding the declination, Shen Kuo did another experiment. Shen Kuo is good at astronomy and calendar , so he proved it from the comparison of geographical meridian observations in the “Standard Map”. The discovery of magnetic declination was an important achievement in the history of ancient science. The declination angle of the magnetic needle was not known until the 13th century in Europe. At that time, it was often Misunderstood as a defect in the technical device of the compass.
Four tests were carried out on the assembly process of the Shen Kuo compass, namely the floating method, the nailing method, the bowl lip fixing method and the hanging method. However, in the actual compass* ** Among them, one of them is widely used.
Before Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty (1522~1566), China’s sea navigation has been using hydrocompass. It is simple and convenient to manufacture, but unstable and easy to follow the ship The shaking and shaking. The traditional Chinese compass was introduced to Japan in the 12th and 13th centuries, and then to Europe. The earliest description of the magnetic needle in Europe can be found in “On the Nature of Matter” written by Alexander Nekam in England in 1195 Found in the book. The magnetic needle device in the book is exactly the same as the floating needle recorded in the Song Dynasty in China. Later, Europeans put the magnetic needle on the tip of the nail, which can rotate freely, and made a dry compass. The dry compass has a fixed fulcrum, unlike the water compass So unstable, the performance is more suitable for navigation. During the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, China also began to use dry compass.