Alternative History

Science (Chaos)

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Chaos TL
The World

Science and Technology

See also: List of Scientists

13th century

13th century: The spinning wheel is brought to Europe (probably from India). "Mathematical Renaissance" in China.

1202: Leonardo of Pisa introduces Hindu-Arabic numerals to Europe with his book Liber Abaci.

1204, December 13th: Maimonides / RAMBAM dies.

1210: Roger Bacon born.

1238 (3835, Yang Earth Dog): Yang Hui born (invents his version of Pascal's triangle - later important for statistics)

1240: Bartholomeus de Glanvilla concludes De proprietatibus rerum. The most widely read and quoted encyclopedia in the late-medieval period.

1250: Fibonacci dies.

1253: Robert Grosseteste dies. He introduced a kind of scientific thought.

1260: Vincent of Beauvais concludes Speculum Majus. The most ambitious encyclopedia in the late-medieval period over 3 million words.

1261 (3858, Yin Metal Chicken): Qin Jiushao, who introduced the 0 to China, dies.

~1270: Paper manufacture begins in Italy.

1274: Nasir al-Din Tusi (said to be most eminent astronomer between Ptolemy and Copernicus; also established trigonometry as independent science) dies.

1277: A treaty between the crusader Bohemond VII, titular prince of Antioch and the Doge of Venice for the transfer of glassmaking technology isn't signed, so the transfer of Syrian glassworkers and their trade secrets doesn't happen. The famous Venetian glass industry isn't born.

late 1280s: Eyeglasses are invented in Italy.

1285: William of Ockham born.

General state of the art

Western Europe: The "12th century Renaissance" has already started, with men like Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon. Scholastics. The nominalists (those who believe that Plato's "ideal entities" are just names, but not the real things) slowly win over the "realists" (those who support Plato).

Islamic World: Algebra, Non-Euclidean geometry. Lots of knowledge about Optics, f.e. refraction. Also good in mechanics.

India: Also many ideas in mathematics and physics - including ideas for an atomic theory, law of gravity, and a heliocentric system. Geometry, trigonometry, binary system, floating point operations, even calculus.

China: Lots of mathematics, f.e. about solving of equations of higher grades, the Rule of Three and matrix methods for linear equations. First law of motion.

14th century

1319: Robert of Oldham discovers Law of exponential growth / compounded interest.

1320: Kamal al-Din Abul Hasan Muhammad Al-Farisi, Persian mathematician and physicist, dies.

~1340: Double-entry bookkeeping invented in Europe

1344: Death of Rabbi Levi ben Gershon, who wrote the "Book of Numbers" in 1321 dealing with arithmetical operations, including extraction of roots, and "On Sines, Chords and Arcs", which examined trigonometry, in 1344.

1348: Displaced Constantinopolitans help founding a Platonic Academy in Florence. Knowledge of Greek spreads through Italy.

1367: James of Crawley shows that it's easier (and thus, according to Ockham's razor more probable) that Earth moves, instead of the heaven(s).

1384: In Szechuan, a young official visiting one of the salt mines accidentally drops some new copper coins (Szechuan has been part of the Hong empire for just a few years) into a zinc tub full of salt solution. Being somewhat cheap, he orders a worker to retrieve them ALL. This takes some time for the worker, since the solution is too thick to see through and too thin that the coins don't sink that fast. After cleaning the coins, the official is surprised to see that some of the coins now look a bit different than others, for they were electroplated. The news spread, and during the next decades Szechuan becomes the center for the production of all kinds of galvanized metal things.

General state of the art

Western Europe: Ockham's conciliarism is widespread among intellectuals who wish for a church reform. Realism has lost against Nominalism in philosophy. Kinematics distinguished from dynamics in physics. "The Law of Falling Bodies" documented in Oxford. First ideas about stochastics. Humanism ideal lives. Artists invented the Central perspective. No printing yet, however. Humanist education lives up - kids may wear nice clothes instead of cowls, there's less corporal punishment and unnecessary praying, and they may play games. The progresses in art and education and the humanism are restricted mostly to Northern Italy, the scientific progress to England. And unfortunately, some of the humanists also read hermetic (ie: esoteric) books. The more extremes tend to a neo-platonistic or even neo-pagan religion (secretly, of course).

Islamic World: Tables of trigonometric functions which are correct to 8 decimal places of accuracy. Symbols in algebra introduced. Value of Pi calculated to 15 decimal places. One scholar calculates a model for the solar system, including elliptical orbits. In Damascus (famous for its glassworks) prisms are used to discover the spectral nature of light. The laws of falling discovered.

India: Kerala School founded by Madhava of Sangamagrama. They make a lot of progresses in Mathematics, among many others:

  • Mathematical operations with zero.
  • Infinite series expansions of functions.
  • Power series.
  • Taylor series.
  • Maclaurin series.
  • Trigonometric series.
  • A rule to calculate approximate values of square roots.

China: The breakdown of the united Song state hampered science a lot. After the rebuilding of schools and libraries starts in 1375, however, soon new discoveries are made. Before the breakdown, calculating square roots is discovered.

15th century

1415: In Florence (which wasn't hit by Black Death), the inventor and artist Lorenzo del Vacca starts his work as a studio boy. Until his death in 1463, he'll invent many things way ahead of his time, like the "movable fortress" (a primitive tank), a hang glider, improved guns and bombs, better cryptography, and many others. In addition, he further improves the Rinascita art, leading it to its apex.

General state of the art

Western Europe: Due to the Black Death, few progresses (except in Florence). The shock of the catastrophe was too harsh. After the invention of the printing press, people start to spread the knowledge (re-)discovered during the Rinascita again, and faster than before.

Islamic World: In conquered Naples (Al-Nabuli, as they call it), the Muslims discover the use of glasses, start building telescopes and microscopes towards the end of the century. Their mathematicians discover an algorithm for calculating nth roots.

India: Kerala school goes on, invents things like: - Integration of functions - Solution of transcendental equations - Mean value theorem, foundation for calculus - Inductive mathematical proof

China: Salt "batteries", galvanization. Beginning of primitive statistics (concept of probability).

16th century

1572: Cassiopeia Supernova observed. Astronomers in Europe and Islamic world start rethinking Aristoteles' theory that stars are everlasting.

General state of the art

Western Europe: Some progresses in mathematics, mining, cartography. The reconquests in Italy gave them more Islamic knowledge.

Islamic World: With the new microscope, blood cells are discovered. Astronomians discover the big Jupiter moons, sun spots and work out the elliptical nature of the solar system. Physicists discover diffraction of the light and calculate the light's velocity. They face one problem, however: Scientists are restricted to use pictures in their works. The printing press is known and used in conquered Italy, Austria and Hungary, but in the other Muslim lands, the mighty guilds of the calligraphs prevent its introduction.

India: Kerala school goes further on, discovers calculus and proves many mathematical theorems.

China: Statistics are developed further, being useful for administration (and gambling).

17th century

1604: Ophiuchus Supernova observed.

General state of the art

Western Europe: The first modern canal is built between Spree and Oder rivers in Brandenburg-Silesia. Islamic knowledge (mostly physics, esp. optics) spreads through all countries. Better clocks, first adding and multiplicating machines built. Alchimists in Italy discover first new element, phosphor.

Russian lands: Much of Chinese knowledge introduced and later even improved (statistics, galvanization). Materials categorized into conductors and non-conductors.

Islamic World: The introduction of the printing press leads to faster progress and more widespread knowledge. An encyclopedia is printed and slowly distributed. In Persia, bacteria are studied under the microscope for the first time. Aberration of light discovered. Astronomians also discover Halley's comet and a new planet, Uranus.

India: Kerala school stays undisturbed by Islamic conquests, makes even more mathematical discoveries at the level of OTL 1900.

China: They learn about the Europeans, but aren't really interested in what they have to offer. Science stagnates.

18th century

General state of the art

Western Europe: In Italia Nuova, the equivalent of the "Spinning Jenny" is built. Steam machine invented in Britain by Christian 't Hooft, a fled Dutchman. Several progresses in chemistry, mechanical machines.

Russian lands: Invention of the telegraph leads to an acceleration of science, esp. in the area of electricity (lightning rod, electromagnet, arc lamp).

Islamic World: The orbit of Uranus is studied and the discrepance of its speed noticed (caused by the gravitational influence of Neptune). Towards the end of the century, in Persia the first hot air balloon is built.

India: Kerala school makes yet some more mathematical discoveries at the level of OTL 20th century.

China: Science still stagnates, although some European inventions are still introduced.

First half of the 19th century

General state of the art

Western Europe: Railroad, photography, microphone, gas lighting, modern cement, sewing machine, bicycle, vulcanized rubber, hygiene in medicine invented. France makes progresses in archeology.

Russian lands: Many chemical elements discovered.

Islamic World: A Persian astronomer discovers Neptune.

India: Quite some new mathematical ideas in Kerala (again). Sorry for missing details.

China: After the first Ming emperor made China adapt state-of-the-art European technology, under his successors science stagnates again - a big problem, since the development in Europe is now going faster than ever.

Second half of the 19th century

General state of the art

Western Europe: Photographic film, movies, telephone, cars, airships, airplanes invented. In New Rome, many new weapons are developed, up to machine guns. Completely unrelated, they also invent psychoanalysis. And in Socialist Britain, a kind of computer specialized in codebreaking is invented.

Russian lands: Lightbulb, neon light invented.

Islamic World: The anti-Persian War sees the last genuine Islamic invention: Modern balloons, used for transporting messages, observations and scientific experiments in war.

India: Finally, the highly developed mathematics of the Kerala school find their way via New Rome into Europe.

China: The Industrial Revolution now made its way into China too, albeit slowly.

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