Despite the fact that the Ancient Greeks have been known as the guardians of numerous cutting edge creations, Antikythera Mechanism came as a surprise for the researchers. This complex mechanical structure is a kind of analog computer. Can you believe this instrument was used to foresee the orbits of the planets, when eclipses would occur and zodiac calendars, using a series of brass gears and dials? This machine, which was found by an archeologist who was filtering through items found in the ship wreck in 1902 off the Greek island Antikythera (Hence, the name The Antikythera mechanism) , hails from no less than 100 BCE and making it an innovation 1,500 Years ahead of Its Time.
What is Antikythera mechanism?
Let us first tell you how it looks like.
Outside you see a set of rusted brass gears sandwiched into a rotting wooden box. But, when you look into the machine, you see proof of no less than two dozen gears, laid flawlessly over each other, aligned with the accuracy of an ace created Swiss watch. This was a level of innovation that was created during the 16th century and no way before that, says the Archeologists.
The world’s first mechanical computer : The Antikythera mechanism
To archeologists, it was quickly evident that the instrument was some type of clock, calendar or computing gadget. However, they had no clue what it was used for.
In 1959, Princeton science student of history Derek J. de Solla Price gave the most intensive logical investigation of the machine. After a watchful investigation of the gears, he found that the component was utilized to anticipate the position of the planets and stars in the sky depending upon the calendar. A main gear would move to symbolize the calendar year, and would, thus, move numerous different little gears to symbolize the movements of the planets, sun, and moon.
So you could set the main gear to the date and get approximations for where those heavenly objects would be in the sky on that date.
Solla Price pronounced in the pages of Scientific American that it was a Computer: “The mechanism is like a great astronomical clock … or like a modern analogue computer which uses mechanical parts to save tedious calculation.”
It was a computer as in, Today the programming of computers is composed in advanced code arrangement of zeros and ones. This old clock had its code composed into the numerical proportions of its gears. All that the user needed to do was enter the principle date on one gear, and through a progression of ensuing gear turns, the machine could calculate things like the angle of the sun crossing the sky.
While, the mechanical calculators using gears to add & subtract hadn’t arrived Europe until the 1600’s
Antikythera mechanism came with an instruction Manual
Since Price’s evaluation, current X-ray and 3D mapping innovation have enabled researchers to find further into the remaining parts of the instrument and learn significantly a greater amount of its privileged insights.
In the 2000s, scientists uncovered a text a sort of instruction manual, recorded on parts of the component that had never been noticed before.
The content written in small text yet neat old Greek helped them finish the wonder of what the machine did and how it was operated. On the whole, it’s astonishing.
The instrument had a few dials and clock faces, which served an alternate capacity for estimating movements of the sun, moon, stars and planets, however they were altogether worked by one fundamental wrench.
“Nothing like this instrument is preserved elsewhere. Nothing comparable to it is known from any ancient scientific text or literary allusion,” Price wrote in 1959. “It is a bit frightening, to know that just before the fall of their great civilization the ancient Greeks had come so close to our age, not only in their thought, but also in their scientific technology.”
How the Antikythera mechanism worked?
- Tiny stone or glass orbs that would have moved over the machine’s face to demonstrate the movement of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter in the night sky
- The situation of the sun and moon, with respect to the 12 star groupings of the zodiac
- Another dial estimating sunlight based and lunar eclipses and strangely forecasts about their colors.
- A solar calendar, diagramming the 365 long periods of the year
- A lunar calendar, tallying a 19-year lunar cycle
- A little pearl-measure ball that turned to demonstrate to you the period of the moon
- Once more, the mechanics of this is complicated. A 2006 Nature paper plotted out a schematic of the mechanics that connect every one of the gear, like this.
Anyhow, the researchers are still not sure about the origin or the exact purpose of this device yet. It is still a mystery on how they built it at that early stage and who exactly used this device. However, It is nerve wrecking to find these astonishing equipments and keeps us wondering how our ancestors have lived their life.
If you like this post please comment below and share. If you like this page, do follow us on Facebook to be updated with our latest post or simply subscribe.
You might also like :