Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Antikythera device

  1. Oct 15, 2005 #1

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Kythera.htm

    ts complexity is far in advance of that what was expected from a device that was build about 80 BC. The part found contains 32 gears. Its use of a Differential Gear to subtract the sidereal motion of the sun from that of the moon to produce the synodic month, the cycle of the phases of the moon, is remarkable and represents the first example of such gearing yet discovered. The full functions of the mechanism may never be known but it appears certain that it displayed the position of the Sun in the zodiac throughout the year as well as the phases of the moon. As such it can be considered as one of the first known computing devices. Price (1974) speculated that it may also have displayed the positions of the planets as well, thought the gearing required to do this is missing from the fragments that were recovered. “Planetaria” are considered have been also build by Archimedes and they also could be used for educational and research purposes.

    This device has had me thinking on and off years, was it made 80 BC, i doubt it, it seems way
    to advanced for that date.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2005 #2

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    I don't think it's too advanced. The teeth of the gearing are just triangles, which of course makes them a little inaccurate. In general we know almost nothing about Hellenistic technology. The writers whose works have survived were just not interested in such low-class stuff. Empty philosophizing and romantic fiction was much more to the scroll savers' taste.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Loading...
Similar Threads for Antikythera device Date
News Studying completely on tablets and devices... Jun 2, 2017
What device to read electronic books? May 28, 2016
Does anybody know the name of this optics device? Oct 20, 2014
Antikythera mechanism Nov 20, 2003