Shen Kuo

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Shen Kuo (1031-1095).

Shen Kuo -en xinès = 沈括, en pinyin Shen Kuo - (1031 - 1095), polímata xinès. Va ser geòleg, astrònom, agrònom, ambaixador, general, matemàtic, cartògraf, enginyer hidràulic, meteoròleg, botànic, zoòleg, farmacòleg, autor, i buròcrata del govern de la Dinastia Song (960 - 1279) en Xina. Shen Kuo va viure a Qiantang, l'actual Hangzhou. el 1063, a l'edat de 35 anys, Shen Kuo va passar amb èxit el examen imperial per al servei del Govern. Va ser ambaixador a l'Imperi Tangut i va estar a les campanyes militars dutes contra ells. Va ser l'administrador principal de l'Oficina d'astronomia i Canceller de l'acadèmia de Han-lin. També va ser aliat polític i confident del canceller Wang Anshi i de l'emperador Shenzong (神宗 Shénzōng; 1067 - 1085).

Shen Kuo va ser el primer a descriure la brúixola magnètica al seu llibre Mengxi Bitan. Això passava un segle abans que Alexander Neckham la descrigués a Europa. Va desenvolupar una teoria geològica de la geomorfologia observant en els dipòsits del fang, els fòssils de mar que es trobaven a les muntanyes, i els fòssils petrificats subterranis de bambú trobats a una regió en la qual no creixia el bambú. Va descriure també la impressió amb tipus mòbils d'argila, inventada per l'artesà anomenat Bi Sheng en la dècada de 1041 i 1049. Va millorar les invencions de l'esfera armil·lar, del gnòmon, i del rellotge d'aigua o clepsidra. Va descobrir el concepte astronòmic del nord veritable, i va al·legar, que el sol i la lluna eren esfèrics, no plànols, emprant l'observació de l'eclipsi solar i de l'eclipsi lunar. Va fer dos atles, i va crear una carta geogràfica tridimensional. Va ser també el primer a la Xina en descriure el dic sec per a la reparació de vaixells. Va reformar el calendari xinès amb base a unes observacions astronòmiques molt precises que va realitzar durant mesos.

Shen Kuo va viure al final de la seva vida uns anys en aïllament, a la casa que posseïa un jardí que li servia d'esplai, a prop de Zhenjiang, província de Jiangsu. La seva tomba se situa a la zona de Yuhang de Hangzhou, i recentment, el setembre de 2001, per iniciativa del Govern xinès s'ha reconstruït completament.

Vegeu també[modifica | modifica el codi]

Bibliografia[modifica | modifica el codi]

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Enllaços externs[modifica | modifica el codi]

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