Please connect with us and check back periodically.
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.
The calendar adopted by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians was based 12 lunar months and seven-day weeks with 24-hour days.
Since the average lunar month is 29.5 days, over 12 months this would produce a total of only 354 days as against a solar year of 365.25 days.
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.
The electronics, computers and communications industries, power engineering and much of the chemical industry of today were founded on discoveries made possible by the battery.
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.
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.
They did not have the benefit of cheap, off the shelf, mass produced batteries. Bronze is a relatively hard alloy of copper and tin, better suited for the purpose than the much softer copper enabling improved durability of the weapons and the ability to hold a cutting edge.
To keep the calendar aligned to the seasons they added seven extra months in each period of 19 years, equivalent to the way we add an extra day in leap years.
Despite decimalisation, we still use these sexagesimal measures today.
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.