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中国古代四大发明 - (Ancient Chinese Inventions - The Famous Four Great Ancient Inventions of China - )
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Original Chinese

中国古代四大发明
1. 指南针
2. 纸
3. 火药
4. 印刷术


四大发明是指中国古代对世界具有很大影响的四种发明。即造纸术、指南针、火药、活字印刷术。


指南针

指南针是用以判别方位的一种简单仪器。前身是司南。主要组成部分是一根装在轴上可以自由转动的磁针(俗称吸铁石)。磁针在地磁场作用下能保持在磁子午线的切线方向上。磁针的北极指向地理的南极,利用这一性能可以辨别方向。常用于航海、大地测量、旅行及军事等方面。

指南针的发明是中国古人在长期的实践中对物体磁性认识的结果。古代中国人接触了磁铁矿,开始了对磁性质的了解。人们首先发现了磁石引铁的性质。后来又发现了磁石的指向性。经过多方的实验和研究,终于发明了可以实用的指南针。

地球也是一个大磁体,它的两个极分别在接近地理南极和地理北极的地方。因此地球表面的磁体,可以自由转动时,就会因磁体同性相斥,异性相吸的性质指示南北。这个道理古人不够明白,但这类现象他们很清楚。

关于磁针的装置方法,沈括介绍了四种方法:

1.水浮法——将磁针上穿几根灯心草浮在水面,就可以指示方向。

2.碗唇旋定法——将磁针搁在碗口边缘,磁针可以旋转,指示方向。

3.指甲旋定法——把磁针搁在手指甲上面由于指甲面光滑,磁针可以旋转自如,指示方向。

4.缕悬法——在磁针中部涂一些蜡,粘一根蚕丝,挂在没有风的地方,就可以指示方向了。


火药

用硝石、硫黄和木碳这三种物质混和制成的,而当时人们都把这三种东西作为治病的药物,所以取名“火药”,意思是“着火的药”。

自秦汉以后,炼丹家用硫黄、硝石等物炼丹,从偶然发生爆炸的现象中得到启示,再经过多次实践,找到了火药的配方。三国时魏国有个聪明的技师马钧,用纸包火药的方法做出了娱乐用的“爆仗”,开创了火药应用的先河。

唐朝末年,火药开始应用到军事上。人们利用抛射石头的抛石机,把火药包点着以后,抛射出去,烧伤敌人,这是最原始的火炮。后来人们将球状火药包扎在箭杆头附近,点着引线以后,用弓箭将火药射出去烧伤敌人。还有把火药、毒药,再加上一些沥清、桐油等,捣在一起做成毒球,点着以后,用弓箭射出,杀伤敌人是后来的“万人敌”。到了宋朝,人们将火药装填在竹筒里,火药背后扎有细小的“定向棒”,点燃火管上的火硝,引起筒里的火药迅速燃烧,产生向前的推力,使之飞向敌阵爆炸,这是世界上第一种火药火箭。以后又发明了火枪和枪,这些都是用竹管制成的原始管形火器,是近代枪炮的老祖宗。


造纸术  
 
造纸技术的发明,是中华民族对世界文明的杰出贡献之一。

大约在3500多年前的商朝,我国就有了刻在龟甲和兽骨上的文字,称为甲骨文。到了春秋时,用竹片和木片替代龟甲和兽骨,称为竹简和木牍。甲骨和简牍都很笨重,战国时思想家惠施外出讲学,带的书简就装了五车,所以有学富五车的典故。西汉时在宫廷贵族中又用缣帛或绵纸写字。缣是细绢、帛是丝织品的总称吏一方缣帛上写字时,便于书写,不但比简牍写得多,而且还可以在上面作画,但是价格昂贵,只能供少数王宫贵族使用。公元前2世纪西汉初期已经有了纸。是东汉时期,传言是蔡伦发明。但是考古专家已找到更早的纸。

发明人

东汉和帝元兴元年(公元105年),蔡伦在总结前人制造丝织晶的经验的基础上,发明了用树皮、破渔网、破布、麻头等作为原料,制造成了适合书写的植物纤维纸,才使纸成为人们普遍使用的书写材料。被称为“蔡侯纸”。对纸的概念有个统一认识。什么样的物品叫“纸”。在古代,埃及有纸草纸,欧洲有羊皮纸,我国历史上有丝絮纸和作书写用的缣帛纸和蔡侯纸,其中只有植物纤维制造的蔡侯纸对世界造纸业的发展及人类文化的传播具有深远影响,其基本工艺一直沿用至今。根据史书记载和后人研究,蔡伦造纸术的基本点,归纳起来就是用植物纤维为原料,经过切断,沤煮、漂洗、舂捣、帘抄、干燥等步骤制成的纤维薄片。没有经过造纸基本步骤处理的纤维薄片,不具备纸的基本性能,就不能称之为我国古代传统概念上的纸。

蔡伦只是改进造纸术,而不是纸的发明人。如果是这样的说法,在文章中是矛盾的。世界上最早的纸是埃及的纸莎草纸,而欧洲中世纪则普遍使用羊皮纸,这两种纸因为原料单一,改进余地有限,被使用复数种类材料的中国纸所取代。


活字印刷术

它开始于隋朝的雕版印刷,经宋仁宗时的毕升发展、完善,产生了活字印刷,并由蒙古人传至了欧洲,所以后人称毕升为印刷术的始祖。中国的印刷术是人类近代文明的先导,为知识的广泛传播、交流创造了条件。

雕版印刷是用刀在一块块木板上雕刻成凸出来的反写字,然后再上墨,印到纸上。每印一种新书,木板就得从头雕起,速度很慢。如果刻版出了差错,又要重新刻起,劳作之辛苦,可想而知。

北宋刻字工人毕升在公元1004年至1048年间,用细质且带有粘性的胶泥,做成一个个四方形的长柱体,在上面刻上反写的单字,一个字一个印,放在土窑里用火烧硬,形成活字。然后按文章内容,将字依顺序排好,放在一个个铁框上做成印版,再在火上加热压平,就可以印刷了。印刷结束后把活字取下,下次还可再用。这种改进之后的印刷术叫做活板印刷术。

这种印刷方法虽然原始简单,却与现代铅字排印原理相同,使印刷术进入了一个新时代。

四大发明,在人类科学文化史上留下了灿烂的一页。这些伟大的发明曾经影响并造福于全世界,推动了人类历史的前进

English Translation

Ancient Chinese Inventions - The Famous Four Great Ancient Inventions of China
Translated by: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6497ad6b0100gnqn.html

The Four Great Ancient Inventions of China:
1. The Compass
2. Paper
3. Gunpowder
4. Printing

Four Great Inventions of Ancient China is the world's four great inventions impact. Namely, papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, movable type.


Compass

Compass is used to determine position of a simple instrument. Formerly known as Sinan. The main components are mounted on a shaft can freely rotate the needle (commonly known as magnet). Needle on the ground magnetic field can be maintained at the tangent magnetic radial direction. Needle points to the geographical North Pole South Pole, take advantage of this performance can be a sense of direction. Commonly used in navigation, geodesy, travel and military and so on.

Compass invented the ancient Chinese practice of long-term understanding of the results of magnetic objects. Ancient Chinese people into contact with magnetite, as he began to understand the nature of magnetism. It cited the first to discover the magnetic properties of iron. Then they discovered that the directivity of the magnet. After many experiments and studies, and finally invented the compass can be useful.

The Earth is also a big magnet, and its two very near the geographic South Pole, respectively, and the geographical North Pole areas. Therefore, the Earth's surface magnets, free to rotate, they will repel the same sex due to magnet, opposites attract nature of the north-south direction. This principle is not enough to understand the ancients, but such phenomena they are very clear.

The device on the needle method, Shen Kuo describes four methods:

1. Water float - will be on a magnetic needle floating on the water surface wear Jigen rush, they can indicate direction.

2. Bowl lip and spin titration - will be sized needle resting on the edge of the needle can rotate to indicate the direction.

3. Fingernail spin titration - the needle resting on the top fingernails nail face as smooth, magnetic needle can rotate freely, indicating the direction.

4. Aquaticum hanging method - some painted in the central needle wax, a sticky silk, hung in places where there is no wind, you can direct the direction.


Gunpowder

With saltpeter, sulfur and charcoal made from these three kinds of material mixed, but when people have these three kinds of things as the treatment of drug, so the name "gunpowder", meaning "fire medicine."

Since the Qin and Han dynasties, alchemy home sulfur, saltpeter and other items make pills of immortality, from the accidental explosion of the phenomenon of inspiration, and then after repeated practice, and found the powder formula. Wei during the Three Kingdoms state-owned smart technician Ma Jun, the method of gunpowder wrapped in paper made the entertainment of "explosive battle", created a powder application of precedent.

Tang Dynasty, gunpowder began to be applied to the military. People use riprap stone projectile machines, fire kits lit after the projectile out, burn the enemy, this is the most primitive artillery. Later, people will head spherical powder dressing in the shaft near the point of the lead after the shot with bows and arrows to gunpowder to burn the enemy. There is also the gunpowder, poison, coupled with some bitumen, tung oil and so on, stir together with poisoning caused the ball, lit after injection with bows and arrows, anti-enemy was a "million people in the enemy." By the Song dynasty, people will be in the bamboo tube filled with gunpowder, the gunpowder behind the bar there is a small "directional stick", lit on fire tube Huoxiao, Caused by the rapid combustion of gunpowder inside the barrel, resulting in forward thrust, so that flying bombing enemy positions, it is the world's first gunpowder rockets. And later the invention of firearms and guns, which are made of raw bamboo-tube tubular firearm which was the ancestor of modern guns.


Papermaking

Paper-making technology, the invention of the Chinese nation to world civilization, one of the outstanding contributions.
About 3,500 years ago in the Shang Dynasty, China will have a carved turtle shell and animal bones in the text, called the Oracle. To the Spring and Autumn, when, with bamboo and wood turtle shell and animal bones alternative, known as bamboo and wood slips. Oracle Bones and Jane Du is very heavy, Warring States thinkers Huishi out lecture, with the Letters on the installed five cars, so there are learning-rich story of five cars. The Western Han Dynasty at the court aristocracy, he also used fine silk, or a tissue-paper writing. Thick waterproof silk is fine silk, silk is the general term for minor official party silk writing on fine silk, the ease of writing, not only write more than simple slips, but also in the above painting, but it is expensive, can only be used for a small number of aristocratic palace.
2nd century BC, the early Western Han Dynasty have been made of paper. Is the Eastern Han period, the rumor was invented by Cai Lun. However, archaeologists have found the earlier paper.

Inventor

Yuan-Xing Han Teijin first year (AD 105), Cai Lun in the manufacture of silk crystal summing up the experience of their predecessors, based on the invention of using bark, broken fishing nets, rag, hemp as a first-class raw materials, manufacturing has become suitable for writing The plant fiber paper, only to make paper become widely used writing material. Known as the "Caihou paper." On paper the concept of a common understanding. What kind of articles called "paper." In ancient times, Egypt has a paper toilet paper, parchment Europe, China's history of silk with cotton wadding paper and fine silk used for writing paper and Caihou paper,
Only plant fiber manufacturing Caihou paper on the world paper industry development and the spread of human culture has far-reaching implications, the basic process still in use. According to historical records and future generations to study the basic points of papermaking Cai Lun sum up is to use plant fiber as raw material, through the cut, macerate cooking, rinsing, Chung pound, curtain copy, drying and other steps made of fabric laminates. Without going through the basic steps to deal with the fiber paper sheet, do not have the basic properties of paper, you can not call it the concept of China's ancient tradition of paper.

Invention of papermaking is improving, rather than the inventor of paper. If this is the statement in the article is contradictory. The world's first paper is an Egyptian papyrus, and the European Middle Ages are commonly used in parchment, these two papers because the materials a single, limited room for improvement was the use of the plural types of materials, replaced by Chinese paper.


Movable-type printing technique

It began in the Sui Dynasty of block printing by Bi Sheng Song Renzong when the development of improved, resulting in movable type printing by the Mongols spread to Europe, so called after the completion of the printing press was promoted to the ancestor. China's printing is a precursor of modern civilization of mankind, for the wide dissemination of knowledge exchange and create the conditions.

Woodblock printing is a knife in a wooden block carved into the bulge to the anti-write, and then the ink, printed on paper. Every kind of book printing, wood carving had to scratch, the speed is very slow. If the engraved version of things go wrong, but also re-engraved, the labors of hard work, is understandable.

Song lettering workers Bi Sheng in the year between 1004 to 1048, with fine quality and with a sticky clay, made a four-square long cylinder, inscribed in the above anti-written words on a word India, on the kiln where hard with the fire to form a movable type. Then the article content, the characters line up in accordance with the order placed in a box made of an iron plate, and then pressed flat on the fire heat, they can printed. Removed after the end of the movable type printing, the next can be reused. This improvement is called after the printing plate printing live.

Such printing methods may look primitive simple, yet with modern typeface typography the same way, so that the printing press into a new era.

Four great inventions in human history, science and culture left a brilliant page. These great inventions which have affected, and the benefit of the whole world to promote the progress of human history.

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Chinese to English Translation - 中文翻译 - Culture, History|Inventions|Kids - Ancient Chinese Inventions - The Famous Four Great Ancient Inventions of China 中国古代四大发明