Model of Zhang Heng's seismoscope

Model of Zhang Heng's seismoscope

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Credit: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Model of Zhang Heng's seismoscope. The Chinese scientist Zhang Heng (78-139) invented this seismoscope in 132 AD. The instrument was two metres in diameter, with metal balls balanced in each of the eight dragons' mouths. Strong seismic tremors caused a ball to be released from the mouth of a dragon into the mouth of the toad below. The position of the ball falling indicated the direction of the shock wave. This 1973 model is from a collection held at the Science Museum, London, UK.

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