mechanics vs. electronics


can anyone give a brief history of mechanics? i.e. milestones etc...

i'm wondering that given modern technology is based on mechanical and electrical components but mechanical advances preceeds electrical advances, is it possible that human develop a mechanics-based technological modern society if we hadn't invented the electricity?

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Some guy named Isaac Newton got hit on the head by an apple...

Along with some new fangled mathematics that he was working on he summed up the mechanical universe in 3 laws...

This all happened a long time ago... in the late 1600's... They didn't even know what electricity was at that time...

There were mechanical computers that were the size of buildings, powered by engines bigger than trucks in the 30's and 40's... before electronics were discovered.

Doing things with electricity is often way more efficient than doing things mechanically. In a world without electricity there would be no life, as electron (and ion) movement is an important driving force in most bodily functions.


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Alan Adrian

There is very little in the modern eara that does not involve electricity. The engine that was developed that didn't rely on electricity was the steam engine.

You hypothesis that electrical advances are preceeded by mechanical advances is not true. If you look at a modern car engine, there are improvements that were not possible until the invention of the microcircuit.

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Rudolf Diesel and Robert Stirling provide two additional examples of engines that don't require electricity

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A book you might be interested in is Ancient Inventions by Peter james and Nick Thorpe. None of it involves electricity except for an abstract notion of batteries and static electricity. It covers inventions from a variety of topics; military, transportation, urban life, etc.

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here's what i already know

the first primitive mechanical tools human developed is probably crossbows, it utilizes severval principles to continue shoot the arrows for an extended range

then comes the carriages, guns, steam engines, trains, cars

but as the system getting more and more complex, it usually contains thousands of components, some times millions, like in the case of space shuttle, but such complex systems are bound to fail sooner or later, it seems that nature is the far better engineer than us humans after all

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Dear xiongnu:

Probably "the mortar and pestle", or "the chipping hammer".

Tools made the crossbow. So those tools came before the crossbow.

Heart attacks, strokes, venereal disease, cancer. Yes, Nature has been really busy. She works by iteration, as do we. She has had billions of years to get here. We've had (records for) a few thousand. If we live long enough, we might do you proud.

David A. Smith

Reply to
N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc)

maybe you're right

one more thing come to mind is wheel, the greatest invention of all time

then water mills, float regulator mechanism - invented by Greeks in the period 300 to 1 B.C. probably the first feedback automatic control device, mechanical clocks, sails...

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Speaking of computers, Charles Babbage designed a purely mechanical computing engine in the 1800's. See:

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Olin Perry Norton

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