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Tag: compass

Archive for compass

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-0200 – magnetic compass

The first magnetic compasses were made and used in China around -200. They were probably simple objects made from magnetic lodestone which were crafted so they could turn to orient themselves in a magnetic field. They were used as “devining” tools to reveal hidden knowledge through rituals. Around 700, Chinese inventors began using magnetized needles […]

Navigation: Clocks and Compasses

The history of navigation tools is about clocks, compasses and sextants. Navigating requires knowledge about where you are and where you want to go. Early navigation probably involved short, local trips, where there was no need to know your precise location and only a direction was needed to aim for some destination. This could be […]

1031 – Shen Kua – bio

Shen Kua was born in 1031 in Zhejiang province in China. He was a mathematician, astronomer, inventor and excelled in many other fields of science. While the chinese may have had compasses as early as 200, it was Shen Kua who first documented the magnetic compass needle, the concept of true north and the use […]

1269 – Epistola de Magnete

In 1269, Pierre or Peter Peregrinus of Maricourt wrote a letter to a friend discussing magnetism called “Epistola de Magnete” that explained how magnets attract and repel each other and how to identify the poles of a compass. Peregrinus was a tutor of Roger Bacon. PREREQUISITE: magnets of Carthage compass SUBSEQUENT: de Magnete (Gilbert) Roger […]

1600 – De Magnete

In 1600, William Gilbert published a study of magetic forces and their ability to affect a compass needle.  Gilbert’s studies convinced him that the earth was a giant magnet.  He also believed (incorrectly) that the rotation of the Earth and the magetic field of the Earth had the same cause. In de Magnete, Gilbert also […]