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Magnetic Compass - Term Paper Example

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The magnetic compass played a major role in influencing the culture of individuals all over the world, culture was diffused through the goods imported and exported, settlement and travel, the compass continue to influenced lives today. The compass made sea voyage safer and quicker and this increased travel all over the world…
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Magnetic Compass
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Download file to see previous pages According to Discovery channel (2009) the magnetic compass is said to have originated from China in 221 to 206 BC during the Qin dynasty, at first lodestone which is a natural magnetic was used in the construct a fortune teller board, however it was noticed that the lodestone pointed at one direction, this led to the invention of the first compass that made on a square board, the pointer of the compass was a spoon shaped lodestone and 24 cardinal points were marked on the board.
Prior to the discovery of the magnetic compass sea voyage navigation depended on the outer space bodies and the sun, the compass is said to have traveled to the middle east and then to Europe while it was still possible that there was independent discovery of the compass in Europe, it is evident that the compass arrived in Europe in the 12th Century AD.
The magnetic compass was improved in 8th century AD it was discovered that by rubbing a needle on lodestone the needle would point in one direction; this led to an improvement in the compass whereby the compass was now made by floating the needle on water to point direction. However the needle would loss its magnetism and therefore sailors carried the lodestone to magnetize the needle in case the needle's magnetism weakened.
After the discovery of the needle pointer compass these devices were used as navigation aids in ships, Discovery channel (2009) states tha...
According to Lane(1963)the compass invention stimulated trade whereby there was an increase in the number of commercial sea voyages and also the possibility of navigation in all the months of the year. Before the invention of the magnetic compass sailors depended on the sun and other outer space bodies to navigate, this means that it was relatively impossible to locate direction during the winter months and when it was dark, foggy and rainy. However sailors would know directions by observing land marks and therefore traveled near the sight of land.
Lane (1963) discuses the economic impact of the magnetic compass invention, one of notable impact of the invention is that Mediterranean sailors traveled in the months of October and April, the compass led to an increase in sea travel months and voyages were possible for the months February to December. This shows that there was an increase in the number of travels in seas and this possibly had an impact on the economy, one of the impact is that there was increased trade across nations, another impact is that there was an increase employment whereby increased traveled meant that employment increased as a result of the increase in the months ships could travel.
Lane (1963) points out that the number of trips a ship could make doubled, the magnetic compass reduced risks of travel and also quickened the speed at which ships took to travel from one point to another, as a result trade was enhanced and crew members were more likely to be employed for a longer period of time. The compass was also used in the mining industry, the compass in this industry was used to guide miners through the underground tunnels constructed, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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