A 2100 Year Old Computer!
It’s true! Ancient Greek astronomers had developed a complicated mechanical device to help them predict astronomical events. It is regarded as humanity’s oldest computer.
Fascinated? Read on..
The Antikythera Mechanism
The device was named the Antikythera mechanism after the location where it was found. The bronze object about 20 cms high began to disintegrate soon after it was recovered from the depths of the water. Using 21st century tools and equipment, scientists have been able to discover the astonishing secrets, a century later.
Though 30 gears are visible, it is believed that the original structure contained over 72 gears. Each gear was hand-crafted and had between 15 and 233 triangular teeth. On the front of the mechanism a dial shows the position of the Sun, Moon in the zodiac and a small ball for displaying lunar phases.
With the help of the inscriptions, scientists have been able to explain the use of the mechanism. The astronomical theories of moon cycles given to us by the Greeks, have been used by the device to predict phenomenon such as eclipses and moon phases.
It has been nearly impossible to copy this ancient mechanism. However recently using over 1500 lego technic pieces, scientists have tried to recreate it. Watch the video in the notes for a fascinating look at its clone.
Courtesy: BBC, Wikipedia