What is Kongming’s Light? – Ancient China project

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an eggshell balanced on a stand

Kongming’s Light, made by kids at Laurelhurst School, Portland Oregon

Scientists in China were early leaders in the investigation of hot air and how you could use the fact that hot air rises to lift things off the ground.

One early experiment, reported by the Chinese book Ten Thousand Infallible Arts of the Prince of Huai-Nan, was to blow out an egg and then push burning weeds inside it, so that the egg would fill with hot air. People said that the egg would then rise into the air, but this is probably not true. In any case, this project is a model showing the experiment.

Other activities:

* Paper-making
* Making a compass
* Making a kite

Bibliography and further reading about Chinese science:

Science in Ancient China, by George Beshore (1998). .

The Joy of Pi, by David Blatner (1999). It’s not all about ancient China, but some of it is. For teenagers.

Ancient China: 2,000 Years of Mystery and Adventure to Unlock and Discover (Treasure Chest), by Chao-Hui Jenny Liu (1996). Lots of activities , including a Chinese calligraphy set.

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, by Charles Seife and Matt Zimet (2000).

More China projects
More about Ancient China
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By |2018-04-18T18:18:12+00:00June 9th, 2017|China, Crafts, Science|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. What is Kongming’s Light? – Ancient China project. Quatr.us Study Guides, June 9, 2017. Web. January 23, 2019.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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