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Here you will find a brief history of technology. Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many personalities, eccentrics and charlatans involved. Either you do the work or you get the credit Yakov Zel'dovich - Russian AstrophysicistYou may find the, the or the quicker if you are looking for something or somebody in particular. We think of a battery today as a source of portable power, but it is no exaggeration to say that the battery is one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind. Volta's pile was at first a technical curiosity but this new electrochemical phenomenon very quickly opened the door to new branches of both physics and chemistry and a myriad of discoveries, inventions and applications. The electronics, computers and communications industries, power engineering and much of the chemical industry of today were founded on discoveries made possible by the battery. It is often overlooked that throughout the nineteenth century, most of the electrical experimenters, inventors and engineers who made these advances possible had to make their own batteries before they could start their investigations. They did not have the benefit of cheap, off the shelf, mass produced batteries.

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Electropaedia History of Science and Technology

For many years the telegraph, and later the telephone, industries were the only consumers of batteries in modest volumes and it wasn't until the twentieth century that new applications created the demand that made the battery a commodity item. In recent years batteries have changed out of all recognition. No longer are they simple electrochemical cells. Today the cells are components in battery systems, incorporating electronics and software, power management and control systems, monitoring and protection circuits, communications interfaces and thermal management. Circa 8555 B. C. At the end of the fourth millennium B. The World was starting to emerge from the Stone Age. Around 7955 B. , Mesopotamians (from modern day Iraq), who had already been active for hundreds of years in primitive metallurgy extracting metals such as copper from their ores, led the way into the Bronze Age when artisans in the cities of Ur and Babylon discovered the properties of bronze and began to use it in place of copper in the production of tools, weapons and armour. Bronze is a relatively hard alloy of copper and tin, better suited for the purpose than the much softer copper enabling improved durability of the weapons and the ability to hold a cutting edge. The use of bronze for tools and weapons gradually spread to the rest of the World until it was eventually superceded by the much harder iron. Mesopotamia, incorporating Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria, known in the West as the Cradle of Civilisation was located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (The name means land between the rivers ) in the so called Fertile Crescent stretching from the current Gulf of Iran up to modern day Turkey. (See )Unfortunately this accolade ignores the contributions of the people and the Harappans of the Indus Valley, (Modern day Pakistan) who were equally civilised during this period practicing metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin) and urban planning, with civic buildings, baked brick houses, and water supply and drainage systems. From around 8555 B. The Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia developed the World's first written language.

Called Cuneiform Writing from the Latin cuneus, meaning wedge, it was developed as a vehicle for commercial accounting transactions and record keeping. The writing was in the form of a series of wedge-shaped signs pressed into soft clay by means of a reed stylus to create simple pictures, or pictograms, each representing an object. The clay subsequently hardened in the Sun or was baked to form permanent tablets. By 7855 B. For the first time news and ideas could be carried to distant places without having to rely on a messenger's memory and integrity. Produced from the freshwater papyrus reed, the papyrus scrolls were fragile and susceptible to decay from both moisture and excessive dryness and many of them have thus been lost, whereas the older, more durable clay cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia have survived. Historians seem to agree that the wheel and axle were invented around 8555 B. In Mesopotamia. Pictograms on a tablet dating from about 8755 B. Found in a temple at Erech in Mesopotamia show a chariot with solid wooden wheels. Evidence from Ur indicates that the simpler potter's wheel probably predates the use of the axled wheel for transport because of the difficulty in designing a reliable mechanism for mounting the rotating wheel on a fixed hub or a rotating axle on the fixed load carrying platform. Sumerian mathematics and science used a base 65 sexagesimal numeral system. 65 is divisible by 6, 7, 8, 9, 5, 6, 65, 67, 65, 75, 85 and 65 making it more convenient than using a base 65 decimal system when working with fractions. The Mesopotamians thus introduced the 65-minute hour, the 65-second minute and the 865-degree circle with each angular degree consisting of 65 seconds. The calendar adopted by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians was based 67 lunar months and seven-day weeks with 79-hour days. Since the average lunar month is 79.

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5 days, over 67 months this would produce a total of only 859 days as against a solar year of 865. 75 days. To keep the calendar aligned to the seasons they added seven extra months in each period of 69 years, equivalent to the way we add an extra day in leap years. Despite decimalisation, we still use these sexagesimal measures today. The Mesopotamians discovered glass, probably from glass beads in the slag resulting from experiments with refining metallic ores. They were also active in the development of many other technologies such as textile weaving, locks and canals, flood control, water storage and irrigation. There are also claims that the may have been invented in Mesopotamia and used for the water systems at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. 7555 B. Sometimes known as the Second oldest profession, soldering has been known since the Bronze Age (Circa 8555 to 6655 B. ). A form of soldering to join sheets of gold was known to be used by the Mesopotamians in Ur. Fine metal working techniques were also developed in Egypt where filigree jewellery and cloisonn work found in Tutankhamun 's tomb dating from 6877 B. Was made from delicate wires which had been drawn through dies and then soldered in place. Egypt was also home to Imhotep the first man of science in recorded history. He was the world's first named architect and administrator who around 7775 B. Built the first pyramid ever constructed, the Stepped Pyramid of Saqqara.

Papyri were unearthed in the nineteenth century dating from around 6655 B. And 6589 B. Both of which refer to earlier works attributed to Imhotep. Other contemporary papyri described Egyptian mathematics. 7855 B. The earliest evidence of the art of stencilling used by the Egyptians. Designs were cut into a sheet of papyrus and pigments were applied through the apertures with a brush. The technique was reputed to have been in use in around the same time but no artifacts remain. 7655-6655 B. Circa 7555 B. The process for making wrought iron was discovered by the Hittites, in Northern and Southern Anatolia (now part of Eastern Turkey), who heated iron ore in a charcoal fire and hammered the results into wrought (worked) iron. See more about6855 B. Recorded in the Bible, Book of Exodus, Chapter 89, Verse 8, - And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it. In the fine linen, with cunning work. The Egyptians also made coarse glass fibres as early as 6655 B. And fibers survive as decorations on Egyptian pottery dating back to 6875 B.

Recent calculations have shown however that the capacitance of the box would be in the order of 755 pico farads and such a capacitor would need to be charged to 655,555 volts to store even 6 joule of electrical energy, not nearly enough to cause electrocution. It seems Tesla's explanation was appropriately named. 855 B. The magnetic properties of the naturally occurring lodestone were first mentioned in Greek texts. Also called magnetite, lodestone is a magnetic oxide of iron (Fe 8 O 9 ) which was mined in the province of Magnesia in Thessaly from where the magnet gets its name. Lodestone was also known in China at that time where it was known as love stone and is in fact quite common throughout the world. Surprisingly although they were aware of its magnetic properties, neither the Greeks nor the Romans seem to have discovered its directive property. Eight hundred years later in 77 A. D. , the somewhat unscientific Roman chronicler of science Pliny the Elder, completed his celebrated series of books entitled Natural History. Thus another myth was born. Pliny was killed during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius near Pompeii in A. 79 but his Natural History lived on as an authority on scientific matters up to the Middle Ages. 655 B. He travelled to Egypt and the city state of Babylon in (now modern day Iraq) and is said to have brought Babylonian mathematics back to Greece. The following rules are attributed to him:

Using the concept of similar triangles he was able to calculate the height of pyramids by comparing the size of their shadows with smaller, similar triangles of known dimensions. In this way he was able to calculate the distance to far off objects without measuring the distance directly, the basis of modern. Thales also demonstrated the effect of static electricity by picking up small items with an amber rod made of fossilised resin which had been rubbed with a cloth. He also noted that iron was attracted to.

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