Unit 2 Notes SHEIKH - Chinese seemed to have known that...

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Chinese seemed to have known that magnets have a directive property. Italian sailors learned about this through Arabic sources; used it for sailing. Treated the construction of the mariner’s compass as a magical right; serves good example of natural magic – a power in nature to be exposed for use. Elaborate “magical” ritual to get a compass to point north; they attribute this to an effect the North Star has on the needle – nothing related to geography of the globe [Celestial influence]. Peter the Wanderer – describes a detailed experiment trying to understand magnets. Magnet making not associated with lay-sailors, but with learned scholars/natural magicians. Found that compass needles did not point towards Celestial North when they started traveling farther – moving further west. Could this deviation from due North be consistent enough to find longitude? Couldn’t – the variation was too irregular. This stimulated a lot of study – the pursuit of practical problems promoted scientific work (like longitude). Related to Natural Magic and Baconian ideologies. William Gilbert was not a sailor, was a physician. Very distinguished. First important English figure of the Sci Revo; became Royal Physician to Elizabeth I; enthusiastic natural magician and interested in magnetism. Close to many craftsmen of navigation – Robert Norman especially (declination). ~1600 people start presenting their ideas and books as completely new theories – no longer restorations of ancient learning/ideas. Nature is a living thing can do experiments to figure it out. Critical of Gilbert cause he would jump to conclusions. Gilbert’s ideas became very influential – when the magnetic philosophy was directed as the next wave. Magnetism becomes behind many things ahead such as Kepler saying magnetism explains movement of planets around the sun. 9/28/2011
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course HISTORY 322D taught by Professor Hunt during the Fall '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Unit 2 Notes SHEIKH - Chinese seemed to have known that...

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