Zhang Heng the Chinese Scientist Inventor of the Seismometer

Science at it's core is a collobrative affair with contributions from many forgotten geniuses, let us remember Zhang Heng

zhang heng the chinese scientist inventor of the seismometer avVXPuUQ
zhang heng the chinese scientist inventor of the seismometer avVXPuUQ

Many of us, myself included, was schooled in a 100% based European centric educational system – where in the scientific impact and contributions from other people were ignored or erased. One of these people maybe the Chinese scientist Zhang Heng, without whom the modern science of seismology would not be where it is today.

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Who was Zhang Heng?

Zhang Heng and the birth of seismology

Zhang Heng (AD 78–139) was a Chinese scientist, astronomer, inventor, engineer, mathematician, geographer and cartographer of the Eastern Han dynasty. He was born in Nanyang, Henan and was a great scholar in astronomy, mathematics, geography and mechanics.

He is best known for inventing the first seismometer which could detect the direction of earthquakes. He also made great contributions in astronomy, including the invention of the world’s first mechanical water-powered armillary sphere.

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Other contributions from Zhang Heng

zhang hengs seismoscope
Zhang Heng’s seismoscope

He was also a prolific writer and wrote several literary works, including The Book of the Heavenly Questions, which is one of the oldest surviving Chinese texts.

His other works include the “Treatise on Armillary Sphere”, “Art of Geography”, “Book of the Balance of the Five Elements”, and “Correcting the Calendar”. Zhang Heng’s inventions and discoveries have made great contributions to science, engineering and technology.

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