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Pre-Industrial Spectacles and lenses in premodern times

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
So let's stack the deck and roll the dice. Let's pretend that, during the iron age, a bunch of serendipitous discoveries not only allow glass to be made, but clear glass, that are also used as lenses. On the level of 1900s. Microscopes, telescopes, the works.

How does this change the world?
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
So let's stack the deck and roll the dice. Let's pretend that, during the iron age, a bunch of serendipitous discoveries not only allow glass to be made, but clear glass, that are also used as lenses. On the level of 1900s. Microscopes, telescopes, the works.

How does this change the world?
Until you can see the development of writing, mathematics, algebra, geometry, that discovery is unlikely to be used as such, and has good chances of disappearing outside maybe some artistic endeavours. I’ll just remind you that in the Middle Ages, chemistry was used to reliably produce nanoparticles, yet nanotechnologies in their modern sense appeared only in the Eighties. At best, I guess it could push towards kinda earlier research into optics and geometry.
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
Until you can see the development of writing, mathematics, algebra, geometry, that discovery is unlikely to be used as such. I’ll just remind you that in the Middle Ages, chemistry was used to reliably produce nanoparticles, yet nanotechnologies in their modern sense appeared only in the Eighties.
I thought telescopes and spyglasses were intuitive uses of lenses?
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
I thought telescopes and spyglasses were intuitive uses of lenses?
Oh yeah? And how exactly do you understand the very concept of a lens without the lost fundamental elements of geometry or mathematics? How do you express angles and curves without the tools of trigonometry?
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
Oh yeah? And how exactly do you understand the very concept of a lens without the lost fundamental elements of geometry or mathematics? How do you express angles and curves without the tools of trigonometry?
Hmmmm.... that's true. Anyone in that time that knew those, or was even close?
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Some guy in Baghdad had treatises on developing lenses via Snell's law using geometric means.
Apparently he read Ptolemy's work and improved on it.
Also, 980-1000 AD.
Yeah, and Baghdad used to be the center of science and learning until it's leader did a stupid and kept antagonizing the Mongols... which caused one of the Khans to sack it so hard that it is still recovering when the Ottomans created their empire...
 

t-dugong

Beach bum, Esq.
Yeah, and Baghdad used to be the center of science and learning until it's leader did a stupid and kept antagonizing the Mongols... which caused one of the Khans to sack it so hard that it is still recovering when the Ottomans created their empire...
Yeah, bad decision in hindsight, that.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
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