中国华文教育网
科学家张衡 Zhang Heng, a Pioneering Scientist
2009年09月03日 15:04

  科学家张衡

  张衡(公元78~140年),河南南阳人,东汉杰出的科学家,也是世界上最早的天文学家之一。他特别爱好数学和天文学。朝廷听说他有学问,就让他担任了太史令,掌管历史和历法,负责观察天文。

  经过多年的观察,他研制了一架“浑天仪”。凡是知道的重要天文现象,都刻在“浑天仪”上了。

  东汉时期,地震很活跃。当时的人们不懂科学,以为地震是鬼神发怒。张衡认为地震是一种自然灾害,他根据自己对于地震现象的观测,在公元132年发明了“候风地动仪”,这台仪器成为世界上第一台观测地震方向的仪器。地动仪制好后,放在洛阳的灵台。公元138年2月的一天,地动仪朝西的龙嘴吐出铜球,掉到了蛤蟆嘴里,这说明西北方向发生了地震。但是洛阳一点也没有地震的感觉,因此,大伙都说张衡的地动仪是骗人的。过了几天甘肃东南部有人来报告说,那里前几天发生了大地震,人们这才相信。

  这是人类历史上第一次用仪器来观测地震方向。中国以外,直到公元13世纪,才有类似的仪器出现。

  地动仪是怎么工作的?

  地动仪是用青铜制造的,仪器内部竖?一根铜柱,周围有8根杆子连接外面。外面有8条龙,分别朝?8个方向,每条龙的嘴里各含?一粒小铜球。哪個方向地震,柱子就倒向那個方向,觸動杆子,那個方向的龍嘴就張開,吐出銅球,落在下面仰頭張嘴的小銅蛤蟆口中,這樣,人們就知道那裡發生了地震。

  Zhang Heng, a Pioneering Scientist

  Zhang Heng (78-140 AD) was born in Nanyang, Henan Province. He was one of the world's first astronomers. He was also a learned mathematician. He was appointed official with historiographic duties, and was also in charge of drawing up the calendar and observing astronomical phenomena.

  He developed an armillary sphere, on which were carved all the astronomical phenomena known at that time.

  Contrary to the popular belief at that time, Zhang Heng maintained that earthquakes were not signs of Heaven's anger but natural disasters. As a result of careful observations of earthquakes, he invented a seismograph in 132, which was the world's first instrument to identify and ascertain the direction of earthquakes. When an earthquake occurred, even if it could not be felt in Luoyang, the capital, a bronze ball would fall from the mouth of one of the carved dragon's heads on the instrument facing the direction of the epicenter of the earthquake into the mouth of a bronze toad below. It was not until the 13th century that similar instruments appeared outside China.

  Zhang Heng's Seismograph

  The seismograph was made entirely of bronze. Inside, there was a balanced post and eight rods connected to eight dragon's heads on the outside. When an earthquake occurred, the balanced post would tilt in the direction of the quake, push a rod, and cause the corresponding dragon's head to disgorge a bronze ball, which would then fall into the mouth of a bronze toad below.

【来源:中国华文教育网】