Antikythera Mechanism (2): The oldest computer and Mechanical Cosmos 2nd century BC!

Here one can read the ‘Abstract’ of the corresponding paper (Printed by the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham) by Professor Xenophon Moussas and find a link to download it for further study:

antikythera_mechanism_montage-1024x1024
Abstract
The Antikythera Mechanism (originally called Table or Tablet, ΠΙΝΑΞ, ΠΙΝΑΚΙΔΙΟΝ) is the oldest known advanced scientific instrument. It is a dedicated astronomical computer working with gears, constructed by Greek scientists during the Hellenistic period, probably around 150 to 100 BC (Ch Kritzas, priv. comm. 2006), somewhere in the Greek World. Its dimensions are approximately 32x22x5cm. The Antikythera Mechanism is one of the greatest discoveries of ancient artefacts globally, as it proves that humans conceived and constructed a Mechanical Cosmos much earlier than we believed. It also provides evidence of the long history of advanced technology and miniaturization, as the Mechanism is constructed with very small gears with teeth of the order of 2mm. The Antikythera Mechanism is a calendar and an astronomical, meteorological, educational and cartographic device. It is the oldest analogue computer, the first known Mechanical Cosmos, probably a Planetarium and possibly an astronomical clock. It was made by Greek scientists, based on appropriate knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, physics, engineering and metallurgy. The Mechanism is an epitome of Greek natural philosophy, as it models the universe using mathematics, following the Pythagorean doctrine that numbers determine everything and describe nature. The Mechanism is made with carefully designed and cut bronze gears with triangular teeth, created to perform specific mathematical calculations with gear trains allowing the user to find the position of celestial bodies in the sky. Greek astronomers at the time modelled the motions of astronomical bodies with epicycles, like the Fourier series of today. The actual sizes of the gears have been optimised to minimize friction, give appropriate strength without breaking and work without bearings. Various alloys of copper with tin and a bit of lead were used. The gears are made of a harder alloy; the teeth are hardened. The plates of the Mechanism on which the text of the user manual is written are made of softer material. Special care has been taken regarding the design and material of axles and shafts, some co-axial, with variable cross section. In brief, the Mechanism:
1. shows the position of the Sun,
2. shows the position of the Moon (including its phase),
3. predicts solar and lunar eclipses,
4. determines the date of important Greek Games and Festivities, the so-called Crown games: the Olympics, the Naan, the Pythian, the Nemean and the Isthmian.
Antikythera-Mechanism-Exploded-Model-medium-res

(One may find the actual paper through the following link, the Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320628253_Antikythera_Mechanism_The_oldest_computer_and_Mechanical_Cosmos_2nd_century_BC)

 

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