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The World is forever in debt to China for its innovations. Ancient China was extreme advance and many of its discoveries are still in use today. This is what Robert
Temple, the author of The Genius of China 3000 years of science, discovery and invention. The book is based on 11 main parts of Chinese innovation. Within these 11 categories, there are 3 main parts that contain the most significant inventions. Robert
Temple concentrates the bulk of his examples in these three categories, agriculture, domestic and industrial technology , and engineering. Temple’s examples were not limited to these fields of innovation. The Chinese excelled in many other areas, including mathematics, warfare and transportation, to name a few. Although Temple wrote about eleven fields of invention, I feel that these three sections contain the greatest examples of
Chinese innovation, and the debt that the modern world owes China.
The first main area is the field of engineering. Within this chapter, the development of iron and steel is the greatest achievement. The development of iron and steel led to other advances. By at least the 4th century the Chinese have developed blast furnaces to obtain cast iron from iron ore. This was 1200 years before the first blast furnace showed up in Europe. The reasons that the author gave to explain the reasons why the Chinese developed this technology are simple. The Chinese had access to large amounts of clay, the key ingredient in making blast furnaces. The Chinese also figured out that by adding a substance they called :Black Earth,” they could lower the melting point of iron. Another major invention of the Chinese, that led to other achievements, is steel.
The common belief today is that Henry Bessemer discovered the process of refining iron into steel. The fact is Chinese had developed the process to refine iron into steel in the second century BC The Chinese learned that by injecting oxygen into the blast furnace, they could remove the carbon from the iron. The Chinese called this process the
“hundred refinings method” since they repeated the process that many times. The finished product was highly prized in China for its strength and ability to hold an edge on a sword.
The Chinese would weld the steel onto weaker iron thus creating a strong edge and a su... ... middle of paper ... the process has been refined.
The suspension bridge, invented by the Chinese in the first century AD, is still the bridge of choice when one has to span a great distance. The greatest area of Chinese invention is in agriculture. The Chinese excelled in farming, not only did they discover the seed drill, they discovered row farming that is still used today.
I would recommend this book with one wants to read about the past glory of
China and the huge potentional of the future. It gave in-depth views into each Chinese invention, while not over doing the techical explaination. The Author is clear and concise on his point, the modern world is in debt to the Chinese. He gave many examples of
Chinese invoation, and how the rest of the world copied the Chinese. Not did the rest of the world copy Chinese inventions, they claimed that they were the first to invent it. The author opened my eyes to the greatness of anicent China. What the author, Robert
Temple, did do gave me even more reason to respect China.

The Genius of China
3000 years of Science, discovery, and invention
By Robert Temple

Book report by
Mike Leung
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