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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 Astrophysicist Fortunately it is not always true.Background 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.
Pioneers 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. the World was starting to emerge from the Stone Age. C., 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.Similarly he calculated the distance to ships at sea by noting the azimuth angle of the ship from a baseline of two widely spaced observation points a known distance apart on the shore and scaling up the distance to the ship from the dimensions of a smaller similar triangle.In this way he was able to calculate the distance to far off objects without measuring the distance directly, the basis of modern surveying.Papyri were unearthed in the nineteenth century dating from around 1600 B. Other contemporary papyri described Egyptian mathematics. Egyptian teachings provided the foundation of Greek science and although Imhotep's teachings were known to the Greeks, 2200 years after his death, they assigned the honour of Father of Medicine to Hippocrates. Designs were cut into a sheet of papyrus and pigments were applied through the apertures with a brush. The Xia dynasty in China perfected the casting of bronze for the production of weapons and ritual wine and food vessels, reaching new heights during the Shang dynasty (1600-1050 B. The lid was decorated with two "cherubim" with outstretched wings.The technique was reputed to have been in use in China around the same time but no artifacts remain. In 1915 Nikola Tesla, in an essay entitled "The Fairy Tale of Electricity" promoting the appreciation of electrical developments, proposed what seemed a plausible explanation for some of the magical powers of the Ark.He travelled to Egypt and the city state of Babylon in Mesopotamia (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.The Mesopotamians thus introduced the 60-minute hour, the 60-second minute and the 360-degree circle with each angular degree consisting of 60 seconds.The calendar adopted by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians was based 12 lunar months and seven-day weeks with 24-hour days.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.