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Surprisingly although they were aware of its magnetic properties, neither the Greeks nor the Romans seem to have discovered its directive property. D., the somewhat unscientific Roman chronicler of science Pliny the Elder, completed his celebrated series of books entitled "Natural History". The Greek philosopher and scientist, Thales of Miletus (624-546 B.

In it, he attributed the name "magnet" to the supposed discoverer of lodestone, the shepherd Magnes, "the nails of whose shoes and the tip of whose staff stuck fast in a magnetic field while he pastured his flocks". Pliny was killed during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius near Pompeii in A. 79 but his "Natural History" lived on as an authority on scientific matters up to the Middle Ages. C.) - one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece - was the first thinker to attempt to explain natural phenomena by means of some underlying scientific principle rather than by attributing them to the whim of the Gods - a major departure from previous wisdom and the foundation of scientific method, frowned upon by Aristotle but rediscovered during the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution.

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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.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.Hieroglyphic script evolved slightly later in Egypt. found in a temple at Erech in Mesopotamia show a chariot with solid wooden wheels.Though the script appeared on vases and stone carvings, many important Egyptian historical scripts and records were written in ink, made from carbon black (soot) or red ochre mixed with gelatin and gum, applied with a reed pen onto papyrus. Evidence from Ur indicates that the simpler potter's wheel probably predates the use of the axled wheel for transport because of the difficulty in designing a reliable mechanism for mounting the rotating wheel on a fixed hub or a rotating axle on the fixed load carrying platform.Egypt was also home to Imhotep the first man of science in recorded history. both of which refer to earlier works attributed to Imhotep. The process for making wrought iron was discovered by the Hittites, in Northern Mesopotamia and Southern Anatolia (now part of Eastern Turkey), who heated iron ore in a charcoal fire and hammered the results into wrought (worked) iron. Recorded in the Bible, Book of Exodus, Chapter 39, Verse 3, - "And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it. Its construction is described in great detail in the book of Exodus and according to the Bible and Jewish legend it was endowed with miraculous powers including emitting sparks and fire and striking dead Aaron's sons and others who touched it.He was the world's first named architect and administrator who around 2725 B. built the first pyramid ever constructed, the Stepped Pyramid of Saqqara. The first outlines surgical treatments for various wounds and diseases and the second contains 877 prescriptions and recipes for treating a variety of medical conditions making Imhotep the world's first recorded physician. The earliest evidence of the art of stencilling used by the Egyptians. in the fine linen, with cunning work." The Egyptians also made coarse glass fibres as early as 1600 B. and fibers survive as decorations on Egyptian pottery dating back to 1375 B. It was basically a wooden box of acacia wood lined with gold and also overlaid on the outside with gold.It seems Tesla's explanation was appropriately named. Also called magnetite, lodestone is a magnetic oxide of iron (Fe) which was mined in the province of Magnesia in Thessaly from where the magnet gets its name.