An Early Chinese Time Traveler’s Reflection On Historical Narrative


This research investigates the value of historical storytelling in understanding the complexity of China’s ancient past. Focusing on historical narrative and religious rituals, a time traveler from early imperial China investigates the Shang Dynasty, a civilization that existed before the Zhou Dynasty. The article emphasizes how important historical narrative is in influencing how people view the past. With well-known components like Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism, the Zhou and Shang dynasties demonstrate historical continuity. Still, Shang’s mysterious usage of oracle bones, writing system, and religious rites underlines its effect on the following eras. The lack of written records and scant archaeological evidence present problems to the time traveler’s comprehension of prehistoric civilizations when they are visited, such as Neolithic China. The study concludes that historical storytelling acts as a unifying thread that connects many historical eras and enables people to understand their cultural heritage and track the history of their civilization.


A coherent and timely account of historical events and their significance is provided by historical storytelling, a crucial component of how we make sense of the past. Historical data must be analyzed and appraised to tell a compelling story rather than assembled with dates and facts. The fascinating thought experiment in this article will investigate the idea of historical storytelling by taking the imagined experiences of a time traveler from early imperial China as its starting point. The time traveler’s journey will take them through the Zhou and Shang dynasties, the prehistoric ages, and other periods throughout Chinese history. A time traveler investigates the impact of historical storytelling on their perspective of view as they study early Chinese history. The journey highlights historical narratives’ important role in shaping culture and the self by highlighting the complex relationships between the past and present.

Familiar Grounds and Transformative Change During Zhou Dynasty

A time traveler from early imperial China would feel continuity and familiarity on the more than 800-year voyage back to the Zhou Dynasty. The Zhou Dynasty is divided into several eras, including the Warring States, Spring and Autumn, and Western Zhou (Hirth 68). The “Mandate of Heaven” and the feudal system, which provided a framework for comprehending authority, can be found in the Zhou era, where the Zhou Dynasty’s historical narrative originates (Guojuan 130). Chinese philosophical traditions also benefit from the influence of philosophical ideologies like Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism.

But subsequent eras, like the Warring States period, saw political splintering and conflict throughout the Zhou Dynasty. The historical narrative illuminates the causes of these shifts, including the emergence of regional powers and the decline of centralized authority (Zhou Dynasty 2). The time traveler acquires a better grasp of the long-term effects of political fragmentation and the difficulties society faces during division and war by contextualizing these events.

A Foreign Landscape During Shang Dynasty

For our time traveler from early imperial China, going back to the Shang Dynasty would be like entering a strange country. Our time traveler would come upon a culture that was very unlike their own familiar world since the Shang Dynasty predated the Zhou Dynasty. The historical account would be crucial in assisting the time traveler in placing this intriguing age in context and providing context for its events. The Shang Dynasty is renowned for its complex writing system, ancestor worship, and sacrifice rites. It was also noted for its use of oracle bones for divination (Hirth 80). As they were either uncommon or quite different from what they saw in their own time, these elements would probably be confusing and strange to our time traveler.

Particularly noteworthy as a distinctive and enigmatic ritual would be the oracle bones. To understand how these engraved bones were utilized by Shang kings and priests to consult ancestors and deities, the historical narrative would be crucial, giving the background. The value of these divinations in the administration and decision-making of the Shang Dynasty would become clear to our time traveler. The oracle bone script used by the Shang people, which is also known as the Shang writing system, is very unlike the more common script used in their own day (Hirth 21). The historical account would clarify how writing developed in prehistoric China and highlight the significance of the Shang Dynasty in the creation of written language. This would show how components of the Shang writing system served as a basis for the more complex script that developed during the Zhou Dynasty.

Religious traditions like ancestor worship and sacrifice ceremonies would also provide a strange and somewhat somber scene for our time traveler. The historical account will dig into the spiritual practices and cultural norms of the Shang people, shedding light on the influence of religion on their society and system of government. The historical account would act as a link, uniting the past and present, even if our time traveler would discover the Shang Dynasty to be a quite different world (Hirth 81). Our time traveler would be able to identify certain traces of the Shang Dynasty’s effect on succeeding periods of Chinese history by drawing on information from their own time and comprehending the historical context of the Shang Dynasty.

The Dawn of Civilization During the Prehistoric Era

Our time travelers would face a major obstacle when they made their way further back in time to prehistoric eras like the Neolithic Period. Only artifacts and archaeological evidence remain as witnesses to this period’s history, unlike the Zhou and Shang Dynasties, which had written records. Our time traveler would land in a culture that lacked a clear historical narrative to aid with comprehension. The notion of historical narrative would, however, still be essential even in a more theoretical and interpretative setting. The Neolithic era in prehistoric China saw the transition from settled farming communities to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Pottery making, the expansion of agriculture, and the taming of animals set the way for the dawn of civilization (Chen 2). The ingenuity and adaptability of early human societies would be celebrated by our time traveler in these advances.

The historical narrative would give our time traveler a theoretical framework to assess the importance of these archaeological finds, even though the lack of written records would limit the availability of precise historical information. The time traveler would be able to trace the development of their culture using knowledge gained from the Zhou and Shang Dynasties. The historical account would let our time traveler understand the interconnectivity of the events that molded early Chinese history and the gradual development of human society. They would be able to understand how the Neolithic period laid the groundwork for more advanced cultures to appear in the Zhou and Shang Dynasties, such as the transition to settled agriculture (Indiana University 2). Our time traveler would also consider the probable origins and early phases of their civilization as a result of the concept of a historical narrative. They would reflect on the persistence and adaptability of early human groupings as they realized that the roots of Chinese culture and civilization stretch well beyond the historical dynasties that have been documented.

The Significance of Historical Narrative

The exploits of a time traveler from the first days of Chinese imperialism serve as a reminder of the importance of historical narrative in comprehending and appreciating the past. By tying together numerous historical eras, it offers continuity and change in China’s early history. Through the classification and interpretation of historical facts and events, historical narrative aids in the development of a thorough understanding of history. Particularly when discussing ancient and prehistoric eras, it is crucial for setting historical events in their right context. Historical storytelling also promotes a feeling of cultural identification by highlighting a group’s shared ancestry, establishing a relationship between individuals and their ancestors, and growing respect for one’s own cultural identity and past. But there are other issues and difficulties with historical narratives, such as arbitrary interpretations, and gaps in the historical record. To hone and enhance their narratives, historians must constantly engage in discussion and debate.


Giving readers a thorough grasp of history, putting historical events in a broader context, and cultivating a sense of cultural identity are just a few of the ways historical storytelling may show why it is so important. Through the experiences of our time traveler, we have seen how historical tales that span numerous eras fill in knowledge gaps and enhance our understanding of one or more pre-modern Chinas. Historical storytelling is an essential and interesting technique for comprehending the past. It provides an ongoing indicator that history is more than just a collection of unrelated occurrences; rather, it is a captivating tale that has influenced and will continue to influence our present as well as the future.

Work Cited

Hirth, Friedrich. The ancient history of China to the end of the Chóu dynasty. Columbia University Press, 1908.

Chen, Panpan, et al. “The impact of ancient landscape changes on the city arrangement of the Early Shang Dynasty Capital Zhengzhou, Central China.” Frontiers in Earth Science 9 (2021): 656193.

Zhou Dynasty. Ancient China, 2016.

Indiana University. Neolithic China: before the Shang dynasty. History G380 – Class Text Readings – Spring, 2010.

Guojuan, Li. “The Confucianism and the establishing of ideology of qin and Han dynasty” Cross-Cultural Communication 7.1 (2011): 129.

Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics


Entropy is qualitatively referred to as a measure of the extent of how atomic and molecular energy become more spread out in a process in terms of thermodynamic quantities. Similarly, it is the subject of the Second and Third laws of thermodynamics, which describe the variation in the Entropy of the Universe according to the system and settings. The Entropy of substances, correspondingly the behaviour of a system, is described in terms of thermodynamic properties like temperature, pressure, and heat capacity taking into account the state of equilibrium of the systems.

The second law of thermodynamics points out the irreversibility of natural processes whereby the Entropy of any isolated system never drops since, in a natural process of thermodynamics, the totality of the entropies of the interacting thermodynamic systems escalates. Thus, reversible processes are theoretically helpful and convenient but do not occur naturally. It is deduced from this second law that it is impossible to build a device that functions on a cycle with the sole effect of transferring heat from a cooler to a hotter body.

Based on the third law of thermodynamics, the Entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero. Thus, it is impossible for any process, no matter how ideal, to decrease the temperature of a system to absolute zero in a restricted number of phases. At zero point for the thermal energy of a body, the motion of atoms and molecules reaches its minimum.

Entropy is integrated into the new approach to generate advanced metallic materials in chemical engineering, concentrating on the crystal structure’s high symmetry and strength. In thermodynamics and statistical physics, Entropy entails a quantitative measure of the disorder or energy to perform work in a system. The disorder is the actual number of all the molecules making up the thermodynamic system in a state of specified macroscopic variables of volume, energy, heat and pressure.

Mathematically: Entropy = (Boltzmann’s constant k) x logarithm of the number of possible states

S = kB logW

The equation relates the system’s microstates through W to its macroscopic state over the Entropy S. In a closed system, Entropy does not decline; as a result, Entropy increases irreversibly in the Universe. In an open system like that of a growing tree, the Entropy can decline, and the order can increase, however, only at the expense of an upsurge in Entropy somewhere else, like in the Sun (Connor, 2019).

Figure 1: Heat transfer process from the entropy point of view

An increase in Entropy in the cold body greatly offsets the decrease in the Entropy of the hot body. The SI unit of Entropy is J/K. According to Clausius, the Entropy was demarcated over the change in Entropy S of a system when an amount of heat Q is introduced by a reversible process at constant heat T in kelvins.

∆S = S2 – S1 = Q/T

The Q/T quotient is associated with increased disorder, whereby a higher temperature implies greater randomness of motion. However, engineers apply specific Entropy (s) in thermodynamic enquiry. The specific Entropy of a given material is its Entropy per unit mass obtained by the equation: s = S (J)/m (kg).

Entropy Change

Considering that Entropy measures energy dispersal, the change considers how much energy is spread out in a process at a specific temperature. “How much” refers to the energy input to a system. “How widely” entails the processes in which the preliminary energy in a system is unaltered, but it spreads out more like in the expansion of an ideal gas or mixture (Jensen, 2004). The change in Entropy applies to a wide range of chemical reactions whereby bonds are broken in reactants and formed in products with more molecules, undergo a phase change, or even mix with reactants.

When heat is introduced to the solution to the normal boiling point of a solvent, its molecules will not escape to the vapour phase in the equivalent amounts of the pure solvent at that temperature to match the atmospheric pressure. As a result, it is essential to raise the temperature of solutions above the solvent’s normal boiling point to cause boiling. Likewise, when a solution is cooled to the solvent’s normal freezing point, the molecular energy of the solvent is so dispersed that the molecules do not freely arrange to form a solid as in the pure solvent. Therefore, the temperature of the solution should be lowered below the normal freezing level to avoid the compensation of the lesser energy of the solvent molecules for their more excellent dispersion and slowly move to escape the solution to form a solid.

How to Calculate the Entropy Change for a Chemical Reaction

The energy emitted or absorbed by a reaction is monitored by taking note of the change in temperature of the surroundings and used in defining the enthalpy of a reaction with a calorimeter. Since there is no analogous easy manner to experimentally define the change in Entropy for a reaction, in a situation where it is known that energy is going into or exiting a system, variations in internal energy not accompanied by a temperature alteration reflect deviations in the Entropy of the system.

For instance, in the melting point of ice, where water is at °0C, and 1 atm pressure, water’s liquid and solid phases are in equilibrium.

H2O(s) →H2O (l)

In this equation, if a small amount of heat energy is introduced into the system, the equilibrium would move slightly to the right towards the liquid state. Similarly, removing a small amount of energy from the system would favour equilibrium towards more ice (left). Nonetheless, both processes do not involve temperature change unless all the ice is melted or the liquid water is frozen into ice; hence a state of equilibrium no longer exists. The temperature changes are accounted for in determining the entropy change in the system. The change in Entropy in a chemical reaction is determined by combining heat capacity measurements with measured values of synthesis or vaporization enthalpies, which encompasses integrating the heat capacity over the temperature range and adding the enthalpy variations for phase transitions. Similarly, subtracting the sum of the entropies of the reactants from that of products is a viable approach.

ΔS reaction=∑ΔS products−∑ΔS reactants

How Entropy Affects the Efficiency of Chemical Engineering Systems

Based on the second law of thermodynamics that the Entropy of an isolated system cannot decline with time, Entropy affects the efficiency of chemical engineering systems. As a result, any process that encompasses a reduction in Entropy, like converting heat energy to work, must go along with a rise in Entropy in a different place. The efficiency of the process is the ratio of helpful work yield to heat input which is never hundred per cent due to some heat loss ensuing from entropy increase.

Applications of Entropy in Chemical Engineering

In measuring the randomness of a system, Entropy plays a significant role in defining the direction and feasibility of chemical reactions in chemical engineering. In Gibb’s free energy equation, enthalpy and Entropy are combined to predict the spontaneity of a reaction. The second law of thermodynamics is applied in computing the efficiency of heat engines, refrigerators and heat pumps since the Entropy constantly increases in an isolated system (Elliot et al., 2012). Similarly, the Entropy of fusion, vaporization and Entropy of mixing is utilized to understand phase transitions and mixing of substances. Additionally, Entropy develops a conceptual comprehension of thermodynamics and its relationship with other scientific concepts of energy, temperature, pressure and volume.

Literature Review

The simple correlation of Entropy with the constraint of motion enables rationalization of the qualitative rules for predicting the net entropy change in simple chemical reactions. For instance, when adding a solid solute to a solvent, despite the change in size or volume of the substances, the emotional energy of each of the molecules becomes more dispersed in the ensuing solution (Lambert, 2002). Thus the Entropy of every component has increased because the solvent in any solution possesses its more dispersed emotional energy, and its molecules are less likely to exit that solution compared to solvent molecules in pure solvent.

The specific Entropy of a substance could be pressure, temperature, and volume; however, such properties cannot be quantified directly. Since Entropy measures the energy of a material that is no longer available to carry out practical work, it tells volumes about the worth of the extent of heat transferred in doing work. Generally, the levels of a substance and the interactions between its properties are most commonly displayed on property diagrams with specific dependencies amid properties. For instance, the Temperature-entropy diagram shown in Figure 1 is often used to analyze energy transfer system cycles in thermodynamics to visualize variations in temperature and specific Entropy in a process. As a result, the amount of work the system performs, and the amount of heat added or removed from the system can be visualized.

: T-s diagram of Rankine Cycle

Figure 2: T-s diagram of Rankine Cycle

Source: (Connor, 2019)

The vertical line on the diagram depicts anisentropic process, while the horizontal line illustrates an isothermal process a. For instance, isentropic processes in an ideal state of compression in a pump entail compression in a compressor and expansions in a turbine useful in power engineering in thermodynamic cycles of power plants. Real thermodynamic cycles have in-built energy losses due to compressors and turbines’ inefficiency. It is evident from general experience that ice melts, iron rusts, and gases mix. Nonetheless, the quantity of Entropy helps determine whether a given reaction would take place, noting that the reaction rated is independent of spontaneity.

While a reaction could occur spontaneously, the rate could be so slow that it is not effectively observable when the reaction happens, like in the spontaneous conversion of diamond to graphite. Therefore, the apparent discrepancy in the change of Entropy between irreversible and reversible processes is clarified when considering the variations in Entropy of the surroundings and system, as designated in the second law of thermodynamics. In a reversible process, the system takes on a continuous succession of equilibrium states whereby its intensive variables of chemical potentials, pressure and temperature are continuous from the system to the surroundings, and there is no net change (Fairen et al., 1982). Real processes are generally irreversible; hence, reversible is a limiting case. From the analysis of thermal engines, reversible processes take an extremely long time and cannot generate power.

A new approach to thermodynamic Entropy entails a model for which energy extents throughout macroscopic material and is shared among microscopic storage modes, the nature of energy spreading and sharing fluctuations in a thermodynamic process and the rate of energy spreading and sharing is greatest at thermodynamic equilibrium. The degree of energy spreading and sharing is assigned function S which is identical to Clausius’ thermodynamic Entropy. In the second law of thermodynamics, a spontaneous process can only progress in a definite direction and equal amounts of energy are involved irrespective of the viability of the process. Experiments have shown that only a percentage can be transformed into work when heat energy is transferred to a system (Dincer & Cengel, 2001). The second law institutes the quality variance in diverse energy forms. It elucidates why some processes can happen spontaneously while others cannot hence a trend of variation and is often presented as an inequality.

All physical and chemical spontaneous processes ensure to maximize Entropy through increased randomized conversion of energy into a less accessible form. A direct concern of fundamental significance is the inference that at thermodynamic equilibrium, a system’s Entropy is at a relative maximum since a further increase in disorder is impossible without alteration by some external means of introducing heat. The second law states that changes in the sum of the Entropy of a system and its surroundings must constantly be positive to progress towards thermodynamic equilibrium with a specific absolute supreme value of Entropy.

The generality of the second law provides a powerful means to comprehend the thermodynamic aspects of natural systems by utilizing ideal systems. Kelvin-Planck stated that a system could not receive a certain amount of heat from a high-temperature reservoir and deliver equivalent work productivity. Hence, achieving a heat engine whose thermal efficiency is 100 %( Dincer & Cengel, 2001) is difficult. Clausius cited the impossibility of a system to transmit heat from a lower temperature reservoir to a higher one since heat transmission can only spontaneously happen in the direction of temperature decrease.


A dependable theoretical basis for temperature was established when Clausius defined the equivalent of Entropy, defining a unique thermodynamic temperature. Entropy is more fundamental compared to the more available temperature. According to the second law of thermodynamics, all energy transfers or conversions are irreversible and spontaneously happen toward increasing Entropy. As a result, some of the losses in a power plant can only be minimized, but none of them can be eradicated. The usual approach is to convert some low-entropy energy by friction or electrical resistance. The third law of thermodynamics quantifies the period taken to cool a system. Therefore as the second law presents that thermodynamic transitions are possible, the third law enumerates the time of such transitions. In this context, searching the time and resource costs of other transitions is interesting while exploring the third law in additionally restricted physical surroundings.


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Comprehensive Literature Review On Analyzing The Social And Economic Impact Of Low Carbon Transportation: A Case Study Of Electric Vehicle Adoption In Urban Areas


Transportation is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the transport sector accounted for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, with road vehicles constituting 72% of transport emissions (Sims et al., 2014). To achieve climate change mitigation goals, many cities and countries have implemented policies and programs to promote a transition to low-carbon transportation options. One such initiative that has gained momentum in recent years is adopting electric vehicles (EVs), which produce no direct emissions and lower lifecycle emissions than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles (Yongling et al., 2019). This literature review analyzes research on the social and economic impacts of EV adoption in urban areas as a critical low-carbon transportation initiative.

Benefits of Urban EV Adoption

Multiple studies highlight the environmental and social benefits of transitioning to EVs in cities. According to Li et al. (2019), replacing conventional vehicles with EVs in Beijing, China could reduce transport-related CO2 emissions by 30.9% by 2030. EVs also produce lower levels of air pollutants like particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds than gasoline or diesel vehicles (Yongling et al., 2019). This can lead to improved urban air quality and lower incidence of pollution-related health conditions like asthma (Sung et al., 2018). Additionally, EVs produce less noise pollution, enhancing the quality of life, particularly in dense urban environments (Li et al., 2019).

From an economic perspective, studies show that EVs can provide financial savings for owners and governments over the long term. Electricity as a transport fuel costs less per kilometer than gasoline or diesel (Yongling et al., 2019). Though the upfront costs of EVs are still higher than conventional vehicles, falling battery prices are shrinking this gap (Lutsey, 2015). Governments also benefit from lower spending on oil imports and subsidies for fossil fuels (Yongling et al., 2019). EVs are cheaper to maintain due to having fewer moving parts and lower repair costs (Li et al., 2019).

Challenges and Barriers to Urban EV Adoption

While promising, the transition to EVs also faces multiple barriers. A significant challenge is that cities need adequate charging infrastructure (Sierzchula et al., 2014). Consumers need easy access to public charging stations near homes, workplaces, and commercial areas to feel confident using EVs. However, current charging networks need to be expanded in many urban locations (Li et al., 2019). Range anxiety or concern about running out of charge mid-trip also discourages some potential urban EV buyers (Lutsey, 2015). Additionally, EVs may strain local power grids if high-speed chargers do not manage charging infrastructure (Yongling et al., 2019).

The high purchase cost of EVs compared to similar gasoline or diesel models is another adoption barrier (Sierzchula et al., 2014). Even with falling battery costs, EVs have struggled to reach purchase price parity in most markets (Lutsey, 2015). For lower-income urban households, the upfront cost can be prohibitive. There are also challenges around consumer awareness and perceptions. Many urban car buyers need to become more familiar with EV technology and are uncertain about real-world performance and reliability (Li et al., 2019). Weak policy incentives in the form of subsidies, access to carpool lanes, free parking, etc., also constrain EV demand in cities (Sierzchula et al., 2014).

Strategies for Promoting Urban EV Adoption

Research points to several policy and planning strategies for accelerating EV adoption in urban areas. Expanding public charging infrastructure is critical, focusing on fast chargers and locating stations in residential neighborhoods (Yongling et al., 2019). Financial incentives can lower upfront costs, including purchase subsidies, tax credits, rebates, and exemptions from registration fees or road taxes (Li et al., 2019). Cities can also designate special parking, high occupancy vehicle lanes, and free public charging access exclusively for EVs (Sierzchula et al., 2014). Outreach campaigns are advised to increase consumer awareness and combat misconceptions about EVs (Lutsey, 2015). Modifying building codes to require charging access points in new constructions and retrofits can enable future EV integration (Yongling et al., 2019). Finally, optimizing electrical grids and rate structures for EV charging demand can reduce power systems impacts (Li et al., 2019).


The literature review indicates that urban EV adoption can provide environmental, social, and economic benefits aligned with low-carbon transportation goals. However, barriers, including upfront costs, lack of charging infrastructure, and consumer perceptions, slow broader uptake. Targeted policies and programs centered on incentives, charging networks, awareness building, and power sector planning can help cities maximize the promise of electrified transport while managing grid and equity challenges. More research is needed on effective urban EV integration strategies tailored to the needs of developing countries and lower-income populations.


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Sung, J., Song, W., & Park, J. (2018). The direct and indirect CO2 reduction effects of electric vehicles in urban areas of South Korea. Energy Policy, 120, 257-267.

Yongling, L., Fei, Y., Feng, L., & Yaru, L. (2019). Economic and environmental impacts of electric vehicles: A review. Journal of Power Sources, p. 474, 228402.