In the second volume of his abridgement of Joseph Needham’s original text, Colin Ronan looks in detail at the early Chinese contributions to various sciences. The first section deals with mathematics, and it is shown that the Chinese works were comparable with the pre-Renaissance achievements of the old world. This account is written with the non-mathematician in mind. The text is next concerned with the sciences of astronomy and meteorology, followed by the Earth sciences: geography, cartography, geology, seismology and mineralogy. Volume 2 closes with a description of some aspects of Chinese physics, including their predilection for the wave theory as opposed to particles, metrology, statics, hydrostatics, heat, light and sound.
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