Tuesday, 16 December 2008

World's First Computer Rebuilt, Rebooted After 2,000 Years

On Wired, a reconstruction of the Mechanism by Mr. Wright.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Complex clock combines calendars

From Nature.

The Antikythera Mechanism, a clockwork device made in Greece around 150–100 BC, astounded the world two years ago when scientists deduced how this machine was used to make complex astronomical time-reckonings. Now they say that the instrument, discovered in 1901 in a Mediterranean shipwreck, did much more than that.

Researchers have been trying to decode the mechanism's inscriptions and functions for several years. Their latest findings reveal that it links the technical calendars used by astronomers to the everyday calendars that regulated ancient Greek society — most strikingly, the calendar that set the timing of the Olympic Games.

More here.

Workings of Ancient ‘Computer’ Deciphered

From the NY Times:

After a closer examination of the Antikythera Mechanism, a surviving marvel of ancient Greek technology, scientists have found that the device not only predicted solar eclipses but also organized the calendar in the four-year cycles of the Olympiad, forerunner of the modern Olympic Games.

More here.

From the Antikythera Mechanism to Herschel and Planck

As part of the Dimitria Festival, Imperial College Astrophysics, the Friends of Astronomy Club of Thessaloniki and the Observatory of Thessaloniki are organizing a three-day public astronomy event. It is funded by the Municipality of Thessaloniki and aims to familiarize the public of Thessaloniki with Observational Astronomy, its history and the latest developments by bringing together the foremost UK and Greek astronomers. This event is open to anyone interested in learning about Observational Astronomy and especially university students keen to pursue graduate studies in the field.

Start Time: Friday, September 26, 2008 at 6:00pm
End Time: Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 9:00pm
Location: Thessaloniki History Center
City/Town: ThessalonĂ­ki, Greece

Official Webpage: http://astro.ic.ac.uk/outreach/obs_astro.shtml

Was ancient Greek 'calculator' used to teach astronomy?

From New Scientist:

INSCRIPTIONS on a mysterious 2000-year-old clockwork device suggest that the artefact was inspired by earlier devices made by the great Greek mathematician Archimedes.

The so-called "Antikythera mechanism" has puzzled historians since it was salvaged from an ancient shipwreck near the Greek island of Antikythera in 1901. It dates back to about 100 BC, and consists of more than 30 bronze gear wheels and pointers, enclosed in a wooden case.

More here.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008


Infrared is dead. Long live Dr Infrared

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

History's Greatest Gadgets

Wired features the Antikethyra Mechanism in its article on History's Greatest Gadgets.

"It took scientists a century—and the help of a $500,000 x-ray tomography system—to finally unravel the Antikythera Mechanism's mysteries..."