In a relatively long historical period, the achievement of Chinese people in the fields of science and technology brought glory to China. Chinese ancestors and inventors worked tirelessly in order to achieve a developed and prospered China we have today. Among these outstanding figures are scientists who invent and create, writers and artists who created poetry and painting, as well as veterans who have worked hard to establish a new China. These glorious footprints and inventions left by ancient Chinese ancestors are a symbol of the great contribution made by human civilization. Listed below are some of the greatest inventions that have changed the world!
1) Papermaking (指造紙術)
Before papermaking technology was invented, people carved and write Chinese characters on tortoise shells, animal bones, and bamboo slices. Papermaking technology gradually improved so that various types of paper were created for different uses. One type of paper that was improved was the high quality Xuan paper wherein this is adapted for use in Chinese calligraphy and painting. This invention has provided economic and convenience of writing materials for mankind, and set off a revolution in human writing carriers
2) Compass (指南针)
Before the compass was invented, people depend upon the position of the sun and stars to tell them the direction especially when at sea. Thus, the compass was invented from the result of the hardworking people of the Han ethnic group’s extensive knowledge of objects in long-term practice. In ancient times, the compass was first used in ceremonial, military and feng shui to determine orientation. At the end of the 11th century, Chinese ships began to use compasses for navigation. As one of the four great inventions in China, this plays an important role in the development of human science, technology and civilization. This invention has also led for European navigators to navigate around the world.
3) Printing (印刷術)
Before printing was invented, people in the ancient times had to copy characters one by one whenever they wanted to create a book or any documents. It wasn’t until during the Northern Song Dynasty that a movable-type of printing was invented after years of experimentation. The invention of printing has greatly promoted the spread of culture as well as speed up the development of exchanges between cultures of all the countries throughout the world.
4) Gunpowder (火藥)
Gunpowder was invented by ancient Chinese alchemists in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, more than a thousand years ago. The research of gunpowder began with the ancient Taoist alchemy. The ancients refined the pill for immortality. The purpose and motive of alchemy were advanced, but its experimental methods still had merits, which finally led to the invention of gunpowder. Today, the invention of gunpowder changed the way of fighting, helped the European bourgeoisie and accelerated the historical process of Europe.
5) Abacus (算盤 )
The Abacus was invented on the basis that Chinese used the counting rod for a long period of time. Before Arabic numerals appeared, the abacus was widely used as a calculation tool in the world. The abacus consists of a series of abacus beads arranged in a rectangular wooden frame. A beam divides the beads into upper and lower parts, and runs through a straight column. Now, the abacus continues to be used in parts of Asia and the Middle East. In the West, it is sometimes used to help children understand numbers, as well as some mathematicians who like to experience the feeling of using an abacus to calculate simple arithmetic problems.
6) Acupuncture (針刺)
One of the core of Chinese medicine is the presence of acupuncture which has a history of thousands of years in China. In ancient times, a lot of well-known doctors in China uses acupuncture to treat the sick and those who have difficult and complicated cases. Acupuncture is a kind of traditional Chinese medical technique which uses very thin needles to penetrate certain acupoints of the human body to achieve the purpose of curing diseases. Nowadays, acupuncture is not only known in China, but it has also spread around the world.
7) Seismograph (地震儀)
Seismograph is an instrument that is created to determine the direction of an earthquake as well as to monitor other seismic activities and related parameters in the ancient times. The seismograph is believed to be designed by using the principle of inertia and which can detect the direction of the main impulse of seismic waves and other related parameters. This invention is extremely commendable as back in the ancient times, science and technology wasn’t that advanced compared with similar foreign seismographs today.
8) Traditional Chinese Medicine (中藥)
Aside from acupuncture, traditional chinese medicine is also used by Chinese people to safeguard their health and cure disease. Traditional chinese medicine generally comes in these three categories namely : plant, animal, and mineral medicine. However, TCM is not limited to these as TCM also includes acupuncture, cupping and meditation.