From AD 600 to 1500, China was the most technologically advanced society on Earth. Early discoveries put China in the vanguard of science and technology in the ancient world and light years ahead of Western cultures for a very long time. But Chinese researchers shared something with those in the West: ancient Chinese alchemists and inventors were trying to solve problems. Advances in Chinese science and technology were spurred by dynastic emperors seeking practical solutions to the challenges of ruling and defending their vast empires. Building on thousands of years of observation and experimentation, ancient Chinese researchers sought to harness the power of the classic elements--earth, wind, water, and fire. To provide the emperors with everything from practical tools to find their way on a dark night to battlefield advantages and eternal life solutions, the Chinese created historic technological breakthroughs, including movable type, the multistage rocket, and the blast furnace.
Travel back in time to understand the motivations behind early solutions and inventions.