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

Antikythera mechanism

  1. Nov 20, 2003 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    http://www.giant.net.au/users/rupert/kythera/kythera3.htm [Broken]

    The geared wheels within the mechanism were mounted on a bronze plate [third from right on preceding page]. On one side of the plate we can trace all the gear wheels of the assembly and can determine, at least approximately, how many teeth each had and how they meshed together. On the other side we can do nearly as well, but we still lack vital links that would provide a complete picture of the gearing. The general pattern of the mechanism is nonetheless quite clear. An input was provided by an axle that came through the side of the casing and turned a crown-gear wheel. This moved a big, four-spoked driving-wheel that was connected with two trains of gears that respectively led up and down the plate and were connected by axles to gears on the other side of the plate. On that side the gear-trains continued, leading through an epicyclic turntable and coming eventually to a set of shafts that turned the dial pointers. When the input axle was turned, the pointers all moved at various speeds around their dials.
    this mechanism was made circa 87BC, and is surly well ahead
    of its time.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2003 #2


    User Avatar

    I really don't know... The early 20th century is rather infamous for its haoxes, and I think it is premature to make too wide a conclusive based on the idea that "it has greek letters, therefore it must be made in 100BC".... It really needs contextual evidence, not just a few amphorae but other examples of such technology with stronger dating data.
  4. Nov 21, 2003 #3
    Well supposedly it was found in a ship wreck, and it did have a lot of growth on it, but I don't know how fast that stuff grows, so someone might have dropped it somewhere some years before in anticipation of retreaving it at some later time as a hoax. But that is a pretty complex hoax. Most hoaxers, will, by nature, go for some other equally shocking but easier thing to hoax.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2003
  5. Nov 21, 2003 #4
    To sum up quickly so not everyone has to read it, I think the main points for it not being a hoax are that the following are in agreement for the time of its creation:
    -The letters
    -The astrological names etc.
    -The leap year slip ring
    -And the fact that there are repairs, I wouldn't think of that if I hoaxed it, then again maybe I'm not a good hoaxer
    Of course it could be the greatest hoax ever and even included repairs (or the hoaxer was clumsy). Did they, in that time period, have metallurical abilities to make something like this out of a noncorrodable metal (and cheap, since of course they could use gold and I know I would rather a corrodable mechanism than a pure gold one)? It seems like they would do that if they could, and if they could then you'd think we'd find more of these even better preserved. If they did then I think it increases the likelyhood of it being the best hoax ever.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2003
  6. Nov 21, 2003 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    im of two minds with this one ,the evidence is very
    stong in favour of it being genuine
    if i remember correctly a simpler divice was found
    and is kept in a museum for aviation.
    could it have been made at that time? well it
    seems to have been made with hand tools to an
    accuracy that is as good as one could expect today.
  7. Nov 21, 2003 #6
    Those Greeks were good with numbers and geometry, and assuming they had access to the knowledge of cosmic cycles (undoubtably, every learned person in any advanced society in history has), they could have made it. I'll look into the metallurgical question today or tomorrow.
  8. Nov 21, 2003 #7


    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    At the Menjamor of the Soviet Armenia, professor Korioun Megertzian found an ancient metallurgical factory. Almost 200 kilns found with items of copper, bronze, lead, zink, iron, gold, tin, arsenate, antimony, magnesium and some more. Most metals were imported and there been found 14 different types of bronze, probably according to their use.
    There have been also found some nippers made from steel that had kept their shine! But these were only 3.000 years old...!
    At the same territory was an observatory, build in three levels and looking south.
    it seems that we lost or forgot how to produce metalic objects
    if advances had kept apace we would have colonized mars by now
  9. Nov 22, 2003 #8
    Are any of those metals mentioned cheap and noncorrodable? I don't know what 'nippers' are. These things mentioned in this thread are the things that really make one wonder if maybe there was an Atlantis...oh well, that is beyond the scope of this forum (since the disscussion would likely be so big).
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Antikythera mechanism
  1. Quantum Mechanics (Replies: 2)

  2. Mechanics in motion (Replies: 3)

  3. What mechanism (Replies: 12)

  4. The Mechanics of Curses (Replies: 34)