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TU Berlin

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The Preliminary Study on the Knowledge of the Conservation of Matter between the West and China in Ancient Times

Hu Huakai (Hefei, China)

As we known today, the law of the conservation of matter is a very general rule in the nature, and it also is an elementary principle of the natural science. Although the law of the conservation of matter was discovered in the development of the modern science, the fundamental of it the concept of the conservation of matter has a very long history. No matter where it was, in the east or in the west, people began their knowledge of conservation of matter almost two thousand years ago. We can say that the law of the conservation of matter in modern science is a further development of the idea of the conservation of matter in the ancient times, is a quantitative description of the ancient thought. The facts prove that the west and China have their own historic contribution in understanding the conservation of matter. However, their paths of understanding and the conclusions they drawn were obvious distinct because they have different characters in their traditional science.

This thesis examines the processes of understanding the conservation of matter in the ancient times between the west and China more specifically, analyzes and compares the general characters and the difference between them, and probes their own features in the understanding process and the reasons of their success and failure.

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