Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ancient Antikythera 'Computer' Reconstructed

The story is told of how the author Cicero in the first century BC first examined the legendary Antikythera invented by Archimedes. The Roman wrote:

The invention of Archimedes deserves special admiration because he had thought out a way to represent accurately by a single device for turning the globe those various and divergent movements with their different rates of speed. The moon was always as many revolutions behind the sun on the bronze contrivance as would agree with the number of days it was behind it in the sky.

A device of this nature was hauled from the sea about a century ago and finally has been mechanically deciphered. It is a surprisingly sophisticated device capable of accomplishing the very actions Cicero described.

Check out the video above of the reconstruction of the Antikythera, 
then click here for the fascinating new article in New Scientist online.

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