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Offline zorgon

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Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« on: September 02, 2012, 07:16:00 PM »
Antikythera Mechanism



Fragment principal de la machine d'Anticythère. Le mécanisme consiste en un système complexe de 32 roues et plaques portant des inscriptions relatives aux signes du zodiaque et aux mois. L'étude des fragments suggère qu'il s'agissait d'une sorte d'astrolabe utilisée pour la navigation maritime. L'interprétation désormais généralement acceptée remonte aux études du professeur Derek de Solla Price, qui fut le premier à suggérer que le mécanisme est une machine à calculer le calendrier solaire et lunaire, c'est-à-dire une machine ingénieuse pour déterminer le temps sur la base des mouvements du soleil et de la lune, leur relation (éclipses) et les mouvements des autres étoiles et des planètes connues à cette époque. Le mécanisme fut probablement construit par un mécanicien ingénieux de l'école de Poséidonios à Rhodes. Cicéron, qui visita l'île en 79/78 a. C. rapporte que de tels engins étaient en effet conçus par le philosophe stoïcien Poséidonios d'Apamée. La conception du mécanisme d'Anticythère paraît suivre la tradition du planétarium d'Archimède, et peut être reliée aux cadrans solaires. Son mode opératoire est basé sur l'utilisation de roues dentées. La machine est datée de 89 a. C. environ et provient de l'épave trouvée au large de l'île d'Anticythère. Musée archéologique national, Athènes, n°15987.

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The Antikythera mechanism (pronounced AN-ti-ki-THEER-?), is an ancient mechanical calculator (also described as the first known mechanical computer) designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1901 from the Antikythera wreck but its complexity and significance were not understood until decades later. It is now thought to have been built about 150–100 BC. Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until a thousand years later.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau visited the wreck for the last time in 1978, but found no more remains of the Antikythera Mechanism. Professor Michael Edmunds of Cardiff University who led the most recent study of the mechanism said: "This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this has done it extremely carefully...in terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa."

The device is displayed in the Bronze Collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, accompanied by a reconstruction made and offered to the museum by Derek de Solla Price. Other reconstructions are on display at the American Computer Museum in Bozeman, Montana and the Children's Museum of Manhattan in New York and in Kassel, Germany.

Origins

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The mechanism is the oldest known complex scientific calculator. It contains many gears, and is sometimes called the first known analog computer, although its flawless manufacturing suggests that it had a number of predecessors which have not yet been discovered.  It appears to be constructed upon theories of astronomy and mathematics developed by Greek astronomers and it is estimated that it was made around 150 to 100 BC. One hypothesis is that the device was constructed at an academy founded by the ancient Stoic philosopher Posidonius on the Greek island of Rhodes, which at the time was known as a centre of astronomy and mechanical engineering, and that perhaps the astronomer Hipparchus was the engineer who designed it since it contains a lunar mechanism which uses Hipparchus' theory for the motion of the Moon. Investigators have suggested that the ship could have been carrying it to Rome, together with other treasure looted from the island to support a triumphal parade being staged by Julius Caesar. However, the most recent findings of The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, as published in the July 30, 2008, edition of Nature also suggest that the concept for the mechanism originated in the colonies of Corinth, which might imply a connection with Archimedes. The circumstances under which it came to be on the cargo ship are unknown. Consensus among scholars is that the mechanism itself was made in Greece. All the instructions of the mechanism are written in Greek.

Function


Schematic of the artifact's mechanism.

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The device is remarkable for the level of miniaturization and for the complexity of its parts, which is comparable to that of 18th century clocks. It has over 30 gears, although Michael Wright (see below) has suggested as many as 72 gears, with teeth formed through equilateral triangles. When a date was entered via a crank (now lost), the mechanism calculated the position of the Sun, Moon, or other astronomical information such as the location of other planets. Since the purpose was to position astronomical bodies with respect to the celestial sphere, with reference to the observer's position on the surface of the earth, the device was based on the geocentric model.

The mechanism has three main dials, one on the front, and two on the back. The front dial has two concentric scales. The outer ring is marked off with the days of the 365-day Egyptian calendar, or the Sothic year, based on the Sothic cycle. Inside this, there is a second dial marked with the Greek signs of the Zodiac and divided into degrees. The calendar dial can be moved to compensate for the effect of the extra quarter day in the solar year (there are 365.2422 days per year) by turning the scale backwards one day every four years. Note that the Julian calendar, the first calendar of the region to contain leap years, was not introduced until about 46 BC, up to a century after the device was said to have been built.

The front dial probably carried at least three hands, one showing the date, and two others showing the positions of the Sun and the Moon. The Moon indicator is adjusted to show the first anomaly of the Moon's orbit. It is reasonable to suppose the Sun indicator had a similar adjustment, but any gearing for this mechanism (if it existed) has been lost. The front dial also includes a second mechanism with a spherical model of the Moon that displays the lunar phase.

There is reference in the inscriptions for the planets Mars and Venus, and it would have certainly been within the capabilities of the maker of this mechanism to include gearing to show their positions. There is some speculation that the mechanism may have had indicators for all the five planets known to the Greeks. None of the gearing for such planetary mechanisms survives, except for one gear otherwise unaccounted for.

Finally, the front dial includes a parapegma, a precursor to the modern day Almanac, which was used to mark the rising and setting of specific stars. Each star is thought to be identified by Greek characters which cross reference details inscribed on the mechanism.

The upper back dial is in the form of a spiral, with 47 divisions per turn, displaying the 235 months of the 19 year Metonic cycle. This cycle is important in fixing calendars.

The lower back dial is also in the form of a spiral, with 225 divisions showing the Saros cycle; it also has a smaller subsidiary dial which displays the 54 year "Triple Saros" or "Exeligmos" cycle. (The Saros cycle, discovered by the Chaldeans, is a period of approximately 18 years 11 days 8 hours—the length of time between occurrences of a particular eclipse.)

The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, with experts from Britain, Greece and the United States, detected in July 2008 the word "Olympia" on a bronze dial thought to display the 76 year Callippic cycle, as well as the names of other games in ancient Greece, and probably used to track dates of the ancient Olympic games. According to BBC news:

    "The four sectors of the dial are inscribed with a year number and two Panhellenic Games: the 'crown' games of Isthmia, Olympia, Nemea, and Pythia; and two lesser games: Naa (held at Dodona) and a second game which has not yet been deciphered."

Speculation about its purpose

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Derek J. de Solla Price suggested that it might have been on public display, possibly in a museum or public hall in Rhodes. The island was known for its displays of mechanical engineering, particularly automata, which apparently were a specialty of the Rhodians. Pindar, one of the nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, said this of Rhodes in his seventh Olympic Ode:

"The animated figures stand
Adorning every public street
And seem to breathe in stone, or
Move their marble feet."

Arguments against it being on public display include:

a) The device is rather small, indicating that the designer was aiming for compactness (it has been compared to a modern laptop computer) and, as a result, the size of the front and back dials is unsuitable for public display. A simple comparison with size of the Tower of the Winds in Athens could give us a hint to suggest that the aim of the Antikythera mechanism manufacturer was the mobility of this device rather than its public display in a fixed place (such as a university, temple, museum or public hall).
b) The mechanism had door plates attached to it that contain at least 2,000 characters, forming what members of the Antikythera mechanism research project often refer to as an instruction manual for the mechanism. The neat attachment of this manual to the mechanism itself implies ease of transport and personal use.
c) The existence of this "instruction manual" implies that the device was constructed by an expert scientist and mechanic in order to be used by a non-expert traveler (the text gives a lot of information associated with well known geographical locations of the Mediterranean area).

The device is unlikely to have been intended for navigation use because:

    a) Some data, such as eclipse predictions, are unnecessary for navigation.
    b) The harsh environment of the sea would corrode the gears in a short period of time, rendering it useless.

On 30 July 2008, scientists reported new findings in the journal Nature showing that the mechanism tracked the Metonic calendar, predicted solar eclipses, and calculated the timing of the Ancient Olympic Games. Inscriptions on the instrument closely match the names of the months on calendars from Illyria and Epirus in northwestern Greece and with the island of Corfu.

Similar devices in ancient literature

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Cicero's De re publica, a 1st century BC philosophical dialogue, mentions two machines that some modern authors consider as some kind of planetarium or orrery, predicting the movements of the Sun, the Moon, and the five planets known at that time. They were both built by Archimedes and brought to Rome by the Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus after the death of Archimedes at the siege of Syracuse in 212 BC. Marcellus had a high respect for Archimedes and one of these machines was the only item he kept from the siege (the second was offered to the temple of Virtus). The device was kept as a family heirloom, and Cicero has Philus (one of the participant in a conversation that Cicero imagined had taken place in a villa belonging to Scipio Aemilianus in the year 129 BC) saying that Caius Sulpicius Gallus (consul with Marcellus' nephew in 166 BC, and credited by Pliny the Elder as the first Roman to have written a book explaining solar and lunar eclipses) gave a 'learned explanation' of it and demonstrated it working.

    hanc sphaeram Gallus cum moveret, fiebat ut soli luna totidem conversionibus in aere illo quot diebus in ipso caelo succederet, ex quo et in [caelo] sphaera solis fieret eadem illa defectio, et incideret luna tum in eam metam quae esset umbra terrae, cum sol e regione

When Gallus moved the globe, it happened that the Moon followed the Sun by as many turns on that bronze [contrivance] as in the Earth itself, from which also in the sky the Sun's globe became [to have] that same eclipse, and the Moon came then to that position which was [its] shadow [on] the Earth, when the Sun was in line.

So at least one of Archimedes' machines, probably (considering Gallus' interests and the fact that that portion of the De Republica seems to be concerned with astronomical prodigia and in particular eclipses) quite similar to the Antikythera mechanism, was still operated around 150 BC.

Pappus of Alexandria stated that Archimedes had written a now lost manuscript on the construction of these devices entitled On Sphere-Making. The surviving texts from the Library of Alexandria describe many of his creations, some even containing simple blueprints. One such device is his odometer, the exact model later used by the Romans to place their mile markers (described by Vitruvius, Heron of Alexandria and in the time of Emperor Commodus). The blueprints in the text appeared functional, but attempts to build them as pictured had failed. When the gears pictured, which had square teeth, were replaced with gears of the type in the Antikythera mechanism, which were angled, the device was perfectly functional. Whether this is an example of a device created by Archimedes and described by texts lost in the burning of the Library of Alexandria, or if it is a device based on his discoveries, or if it has anything to do with him at all, is debatable.

If Cicero's account is correct, then this technology existed as early as the 3rd century BC. Archimedes' device is also mentioned by later Roman era writers such as Lactantius (Divinarum Institutionum Libri VII), Claudian (In sphaeram Archimedes), and Proclus (Commentary on the first book of Euclid's Elements of Geometry) in the 4th and 5th centuries.

Cicero also says that another such device was built 'recently' by his friend Posidonius, "... each one of the revolutions of which brings about the same movement in the Sun and Moon and five wandering stars [planets] as is brought about each day and night in the heavens..."

It is unlikely that any one of these machines was the Antikythera mechanism found in the shipwreck, because both the devices fabricated by Archimedes and mentioned by Cicero were located in Rome at least 30 years later than the estimated date of the shipwreck, and the third one was almost certainly in the hands of Posidonius by that date. So we know of at least four such devices. The modern scientists who have reconstructed the Antikythera mechanism also agree that it was too sophisticated to have been a unique device.

It is probable that the Antikythera mechanism was not unique, as shown by Cicero's references to such mechanisms. This adds support to the idea that there was an ancient Greek tradition of complex mechanical technology that was later transmitted to the Islamic world, where similarly complex mechanical devices were built by Muslim engineers and astronomers during the Middle Ages. In the early 9th century, the Ban? M?s?'s Kitab al-Hiyal (Book of Ingenious Devices), commissioned by the Caliph of Baghdad, describes over a hundred mechanical devices, some of which may date back to ancient Greek texts preserved in monasteries. Similarly complex astronomical instruments were constructed by al-Biruni and other Muslim astronomers from the 11th century. Such knowledge could have yielded to or been integrated with European clockmaking and medieval cranes.

Investigations and Reconstructions


Reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens (made by Robert J. Deroski, based on Derek J. de Solla Price model).

Antikythera Mechanism From Wikipedia
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 01:23:23 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: blah
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 07:16:25 PM »
Antikythera Mechanism

Derek J. de Solla Price

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Following decades of work cleaning the device, in 1951 British science historian Derek J. de Solla Price)undertook systematic investigation of the mechanism.

Price published several papers on "Clockwork before the Clock". and "On the Origin of Clockwork", before the first major publication in June 1959 on the mechanism: "An Ancient Greek Computer". This was the lead article in Scientific American and appears to have been initially published at the prompting of Arthur C. Clarke, according to the book Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World (see end of chapter 3). In "An Ancient Greek Computer" Price advanced the theory that the Antikythera mechanism was a device for calculating the motions of stars and planets, which would make the device the first known analog computer. Until that time, the Antikythera mechanism's function was largely unknown, though it had been correctly identified as an astronomical device, perhaps being an astrolabe.

In 1971, Price, by then the first Avalon Professor of the History of Science at Yale University, teamed up with Charalampos Karakalos, professor of nuclear physics at the Greek National Centre of Scientific Research "DEMOKRITOS". Karakalos took both gamma- and X-ray radiographs of the mechanism, which revealed critical information about the device's interior configuration.

In 1974, Price wrote "Gears from the Greeks: the Antikythera mechanism — a calendar computer from ca. 80 B.C.", where he presented a model of how the mechanism could have functioned.

Price's model, as presented in his "Gears from the Greeks", was the first theoretical attempt at reconstructing the device. According to that model, the front dial shows the annual progress of the Sun and Moon through the zodiac against the Egyptian calendar. The upper rear dial displays a four-year period and has associated dials showing the Metonic cycle of 235 synodic months, which approximately equals 19 solar years. The lower rear dial plots the cycle of a single synodic month, with a secondary dial showing the lunar year of 12 synodic months.

One of the remarkable proposals made by Price was that the mechanism employed differential gears, which enabled the mechanism to add or subtract angular velocities. The differential was used to compute the synodic lunar cycle by subtracting the effects of the Sun's movement from those of the sidereal lunar movement.

Allan George Bromley

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An ingenious variant on Price's reconstruction was built by Australian computer scientist Allan George Bromley of the University of Sydney and Sydney clockmaker Frank Percival. Bromley went on to make new, more accurate X-ray images in collaboration with Michael Wright. Some of these were studied by Bromley's student, Bernard Gardner, in 1993.

Michael Wright

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Michael Wright, formerly Curator of Mechanical Engineering at The London Science Museum, and now of Imperial College, London, made a completely new study of the original fragments together with Allan George Bromley. They used a technique called linear X-ray tomography which was suggested by retired consultant radiologist, Alan Partridge. For this, Wright designed and made an apparatus for linear tomography, allowing the generation of sectional 2D radiographic images. Early results of this survey were presented in 1997, which showed that Price's reconstruction was fundamentally flawed.

Further study of the new imagery allowed Wright to advance a number of proposals. Firstly he developed the idea, suggested by Price in "Gears from the Greeks", that the mechanism could have served as a planetarium. Wright's planetarium not only modelled the motion of the Sun and Moon, but also the Inferior Planets (Mercury and Venus), and the Superior Planets (Mars, Jupiter and Saturn)

Wright proposed that the Sun and Moon could have moved in accordance with the theories of Hipparchus, and the five known planets moved according to the simple epicyclic theory suggested by the theorem of Apollonios. In order to prove that this was possible using the level of technology apparent in the mechanism, Wright produced a working model of such a planetarium.

Wright also increased upon Price's gear count of 27 to 31 including 1 in Fragment C that was eventually identified as part of a Moon phase display. He suggested that this is a mechanism that shows the phase of the Moon by means of a rotating semi-silvered ball, realized by the differential rotation of the sidereal cycle of the Moon and the Sun's yearly cycle. This precedes previously known mechanisms of this sort by a millennium and a half.

More accurate tooth counts were also obtained, allowing a new gearing scheme to be advanced. This more accurate information allowed Wright to confirm Price's perceptive suggestion that the upper back dial displays the Metonic cycle with 235 lunar months divisions over a five-turn scale. In addition to this Wright proposed the remarkable idea that the main back dials are in the form of spirals, with the upper back dial out as a five-turn spiral containing 47 divisions in each turn. It therefore presented a visual display of the 235 months of the Metonic cycle (19 years ? 235 Synodic Months). Wright also observed that fragmentary inscriptions suggested that the pointer on the subsidiary dial showed a count of four cycles of the 19-year period, equal to the 76-year Callippic cycle.

Based on more tentative observations, Wright also came to the conclusion that the lower back dial counted Draconic Months and could perhaps have been used for eclipse prediction.

All these findings have been incorporated into Wright's working model, demonstrating that a single mechanism with all these functions could not only be built, but would also work.

Despite the improved imagery provided by the linear tomography Wright could not reconcile all the known gears into a single coherent mechanism, and this led him to advance the theory that the mechanism had been altered, or modified, with some astronomical functions removed, and others added.

Finally, as an outcome of his considerable research, Wright also conclusively demonstrated that Price's assumption of the existence of a differential gearing arrangement was incorrect.

Michael Wright's research on the mechanism is continuing in parallel with the efforts of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project. Recently Wright modified slightly his model of the mechanism to incorporate the latest findings of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project regarding the function of the pin and slot engaged gears that brilliantly simulate the anomaly in the Moon's angular velocity. On 6 March 2007 he presented his model in the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens.


New reconstruction of the gear train  Date 2012

Operation

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The mechanism was operated by turning a small hand crank (now lost) which was linked with the largest gear (the 4 spoked gear visible on the front of fragment A (named b1)). This allowed setting of the date on the front dial. The action of turning the hand crank would also cause all interlocked gears within the mechanism to rotate, resulting in the calculation of the position of the Sun and Moon and other astronomical information, such as moon phases, eclipse cycles, and theoretically the locations of planets.

Gearing

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The mechanism is remarkable for the level of miniaturisation and the complexity of its parts, which is comparable to that of 19th-century clocks. It has more than 30 gears, although Michael Wright (see below) has suggested that the Greeks of this period were capable of implementing a system with many more gears. There is much debate that the mechanism may have had indicators for all five of the planets known to the Greeks. No gearing for such a planetary mechanism survives and all gears are accounted for, except for one 63 toothed gear (r1) otherwise unaccounted for in fragment D.

Evans, Carmen and Thorndike suggest that to display the mean positions of the five classical planets would require only 17 further gears which could be positioned in front of the large driving gear and indicated using individual circular dials on the face.  Tony Freeth and Alexander Jones have modelled and published details of a version using several gear trains mechanically similar to the moon system allowing for indication of the planets' positions as well as the sun anomaly. Their system, they claim, is more likely than Wright's model as it utilises the known skill sets of the Greeks of that period and does not add excessive complexity to the machine.

The gear teeth were in the form of equilateral triangles with an average circular pitch of 1.6 mm and an average wheel thickness of 1.3 mm. They were likely created from a blank bronze round using a hand file, this is evident because they are not all divided very evenly. Due to advances in imaging and CT technology it is now possible to know the precise number of teeth and size of the gears within the located fragments. Thus the basic operation of the device is no longer a mystery and has been accurately replicated. The major unknown now regards the presence and nature of any planet indicators.

Inscriptions


Computer-generated graphic for front of Antikythera mechanism Author Tony Freeth

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Quote
On the front of the mechanism, there is one dial with two confirmed pointers, but, due to references on the inscriptions, there might have been as many as eight pointers. One for the day of the year and the rest representing the orbital positions for Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon, although no fragments have been found to confirm this. It has been confirmed that the pointer for the moon also rotates on its axis to show its phase along with its position, although it is not clear whether the Sun position pointer would have been separated from a date pointer, or whether any planetary positions might have been displayed.

Since the purpose was to position astronomical bodies with respect to the celestial sphere, in reference to the observer's position on the Earth, the device was based on the geocentric model
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Antikythera Machine mechanical model 2007 Author Mogi Vicentini


Computer-generated graphic for back of Antikythera mechanism Author Tony Freeth

Doors

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The mechanism has a wooden casing with a front and a back door. The Back Door appears to be the "Instruction Manual". On one of its fragments, it is written "76 years, 19 years" representing the Callippic and Metonic cycles. It is also written "223" for the Saros cycle. On another one of its fragments, it is written "on the spiral subdivisions 235" for the Metonic Dial. The Front Door also has inscriptions.

Antikythera Mechanism From Wikipedia
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 01:50:51 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: blah
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 07:50:42 PM »
The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project


Credit: Philip Coppens

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"The Antikythera Mechanism is now understood to be dedicated to astronomical phenomena and operates as a complex mechanical "computer" which tracks the cycles of the Solar System."

More than a hundred years ago an extraordinary mechanism was found by sponge divers at the bottom of the sea near the island of Antikythera. It astonished the whole international community of experts on the ancient world. Was it an astrolabe? Was it an orrery or an astronomical clock? Or something else?

For decades, scientific investigation failed to yield much light and relied more on imagination than the facts. However research over the last half century has begun to reveal its secrets. The machine dates from around the end of the 2nd century B.C. and is the most sophisticated mechanism known from the ancient world. Nothing as complex is known for the next thousand years. The Antikythera Mechanism is now understood to be dedicated to astronomical phenomena and operates as a complex mechanical "computer" which tracks the cycles of the Solar System.

Previous researchers have used the latest technologies available to them -such as x-ray analysis- to try to begin to unravel its complex mysteries. Now a new initiative is building on this previous work, using the very latest techniques available today. The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project is an international collaboration of academic researchers, supported by some of the world's best high-technology companies, which aims to completely reassess the function and significance of the Antikythera Mechanism.

The project is under the aegis of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and was initially supported by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust, UK. More details bout subsequent funding are here. The project has received strong backing from the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, which is custodian of this unique artefact. Two of the Museum's senior staff, Head of Chemistry, Eleni Magou, and Archaeologist-museologist, Mary Zafeiropoulou, have co-ordinated the Museum's side of the project and are actively involved with the research.


Front Gears & Dials

The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 02:04:00 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: blah
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 07:51:07 PM »
Remaining Fragments of the Antikythera Mechanism


Image copyright of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project

Quote
There are 82 remaining fragments of the mechanism that contain a total of 30 gears. The largest piece contains 27 of the gears. Photograph (composite) of all the last known remaining fragments of the Antikythera Mechanism. As part of the Antikythera Reasarch Project high resolution photographs were taken of all the Fragments. The pictures were taken by Costas Xenikakis and subsequently digitized by Tony Freeth. The highest resolution used was 4,000 dpi at 24-bit depth, giving an uncompressed TIFF file of about 22 Megapixels for each image

Where there others?

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Yes, very probably. It has been observed that on close examination of the mechanism there is no evidence of any mistakes. All the mechanical features have a purpose. There are no extra holes, or bits of metalwork to suggest that the manufacturer modified his design as he built the mechanism. This leads to the conclusion that he must have built a number of predecessors. However, we don't know if he was the first in a tradition of makers, or the last. It has been suggested that the number of such mechanisms may have numbered in 10's, and at least some of these should demonstrate an evolution of design.

Where there others?

2000-year-old Computer Recreated 

[youtube]ZrfMFhrgOFc[/youtube]




« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 02:17:52 AM by zorgon »

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 02:05:05 AM »
X-ray (radiograph) of Fragment A


X-ray (radiograph) of Fragment A.  Source of images:  http://www.xtekxray.com/antikythera.htm

ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM RESEARCH PROJECT
© Antikythera Mechanism Research Project

The Inspection


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In an exciting link up between high-tech industry and international universities, including Cardiff, Athens and Thessaloniki, the secrets of a two-thousand-year-old astronomical calculating device, the Antikythera Mechanism, are exposed for the first time with a unique 400kV microfocus Computed Tomography System.
The Inspection

X-Tek's 400kV microfocus CT equipment has been used to probe the secrets of the ancient artefact, estimated to date from around 80 BC. Discovered in 1900 AD in a shipwreck in the Greek islands, the Antikythera Mechanism contains over 30 gear wheels and dials and the remains are covered in astronomical inscriptions. It may be a device to demonstrate the motion of the Sun, Moon and planets, or to calculate calendars or astrological events.

Although the Mechanism is no bigger than a shoe box, it is too priceless and unique to leave the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, so a major expedition in late 2005 brought an X-ray tomography machine, weighing over 7.5 tonnes, to examine the artefact in Greece.

X-Tek's imaging equipment has been instrumental in advancing our current understanding of the Mechanism. It was originally thought that the CT results would be vital in providing good images of the gear train, allowing researchers to obtain good teeth counts for the Mechanism's gears, and finally resolving any arguments regarding the relationships between the gears. The CT results have achieved this, and much more. The results have revealed many more details of the mechanism, including the so called 'pointer-follower' in Fragment B which allows the back dial to be interpreted as spiral dials, not circular dials as previously thought. The 3D CT images have also revealed the pin and slot mechanism that has allowed researchers to discover that the Mechanism models the first anomaly of the Moon's motion.

However the great surprise has been the ability of the CT results to show hidden inscriptions in many of the Fragments. In the case of Fragment G this is exemplary: Price (1974) notes that its inscription is 'almost illegible', reading only 180 characters. The CT images, viewed at various angles, enabled the research project to read 932 characters. Looking at the data with X-Tek, academic principal investigator Professor Mike Edmunds commented, "The outstanding results obtained from X-Tek's 3-D x-rays are allowing us to make a definitive investigation of the Mechanism. I do not believe it will ever be possible to do better."

SOURCE and rest of Article: ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM RESEARCH PROJECT



« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 02:22:35 AM by zorgon »

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2012, 02:05:40 AM »
Ancient Discoveries - The Antikythera Machine

[youtube]-KO4-zx9buc[/youtube]

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 03:16:37 AM »
A Byzantine Sundial-Calendar, reconstruction by M.T. Wright

Florence exhibiion, for the 400 years
of first Galileo's sky observations. 2009 - 2010


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The model is a reconstruction of the original fragmentary instrument, believed to date from the early sixth century A.D., which is also on display (Field & Wright, 1985).

The instrument comprises two practically independent parts: a sundial for use at any latitude, and a geared calendrical device showing the phase of the Moon, the day of the month and the places of the Sun and the Moon in the Zodiac.

This type of sundial is attested by a several examples, some inscribed in Latin and some in Greek (Field, 1990). None is securely dated, but the archaeological record suggests that these instruments were widely distributed within the Roman and the early Byzantine empires. The design probably corresponds to that described by the Roman author Vitruvius (late 1st century B.C.) as “pros pan clima” (for every latitude), suggesting a yet earlier Greek origin.



Quote
The dial occupies most of one face of the instrument. It comprises a piece that is both shadow-caster and hour-scale, the central pin of which passes first through the circular body and then through the swinging arm at the back to which is jointed a ring by which the instrument is hung upright.

The dial occupies most of one face of the instrument. It comprises a piece that is both shadow-caster and hour-scale, the central pin of which passes first through the circular body and then through the swinging arm at the back to which is jointed a ring by which the instrument is hung upright. Two scales on the body enable the user to adjust the first part to the elevation of the Sun at noon, according to the place and the time of year: the shadow-caster is moved over a double scale of solar declination, marked out with abbreviations of the Julian month-names; and the arm is adjusted according to a quadrant scale of latitude near the rim of the body. The dial is then held up, and rotated until the shadow of the projecting part falls along the curved scale, whereupon the user may read off the morning or afternoon hours. Much of the rest of the face of the dial is taken up with a reference table of place-names and their latitudes.

The known comparable dials are smaller and are based on flat circular discs. In this case, uniquely, a hollow box, which takes the place of the disc, contains a geared calendrical mechanism which is worked by turning a pointer on the face of the dial.



Quote
The pointer moves over a circle of seven incised heads representing the seven days of the Judaeo-Christian week. A ratchet inside prevents the user from turning it backwards. Simple gearing in the ratio 7:59 rotates a disc making one turn in 59 days which displays the day of the month (alternately 29 and 30 days in length) and an approximate representation of the phase of the Moon, through openings in the back of the box. Following the description of a similar instrument by al-B?r?n? (Hill, 1985), the remainder of the mechanism is restored to drive indications of the places of the Moon and of the Sun in the Zodiac. A more elaborate reconstruction might include a display of the Moon’s nodes (enabling the user to predict the possibility of eclipse) or mechanism whereby the position of the shadow-caster and hour-scale is set automatically by the calendar (Wright, 1990); but these possibilities have no historical basis.









Quote
The Catalog pages on sundials.

Bibliography :

J.V. Field & M.T. Wright, “Gears from the Byzantines: a Portable Sundial with Calendrical Gearing”, Annals of Science, 42 (1985), pp. 87 – 138.

D.R. Hill, “Al-B?r?n?’s Mechanical Calendar”, Annals of Science, 42 (1985), pp.139 – 163.

J.V. Field, “Some Roman and Byzantine Portable Sundials and the London Sundial-Calendar”, History of Technology, 12 (1990), pp. 103 – 135.

M.T. Wright, “Rational and Irrational Reconstruction: the London Sundial-Calendar and the Early History of Geared Mechanisms”, History of Technology, 12 (1990), pp.65 – 102.

A Byzantine Sundial-Calendar, reconstruction by M.T. Wright
© F. S. || 4.08. 2009

Offline guerande

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 08:38:40 AM »
Tks Zorg .

I have seen some days ago a film about that machine : how could they built
a so sophisticated machine in these times ???
That's extraordinary ...
Problem is that stones stay, and metal diseaper after only some years ...
A metal based civilisation would not let any tracks after only one hundred years ...

Offline Littleenki

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 09:12:50 AM »
Great thread, Zorgon, and it shoehorns right in with my new studies of the Zodiac and its apparent basis for all knowledge of time and space for millenia.

I personally think that this mechanism would have made the owner a special person in anysociety at the time of it's use, and whoever used it wouldve been able to determine the best time to impregnate our women, and plant our crops..resulting in superior hu-mons who would enter life with a better chance of success due to their specific birth chart.

It also makes me wonder, was the man known as Jesus, a person who may have been preplanned as a coming christ conscious, through the use of such a device as the Ant. Mechanism?

Did this device become the go-to for those Greeks who wished to bring back the Gods?

Maybe it's whole reason for being designed and built was like that of the South Pacific natives who build straw airplanes to emulate the air gods...whereas the Greeks used this device to try to bring about a new set of God like children.

Was it a tool for finding the ancient visitors and calling them back, or was it actually a tool for perfecting their exact time and date of birth to make them Godlike?

At any rate,  think the 3d modeling thread may hold some interest to those reading here, and with current technology, we could easily build another one of these and use it for similar purposes...maybe even build a Pegasus model and use it for funding for further efforts..... 8)

Cheers!
Le
Hermetically sealed, for your protection

Primus58

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 11:35:22 AM »
Zorgon, great thread! The design of the Antikythera itself is remarkable, but when you consider the tooling necessary for making the gears and teeth, then working in the ratios in relation to each other; it's mind boggling considering when it was made! I like the Byzantine Sundial, I could see people wearing it as Bling... and these devices are impervious to EMP's and CME's! :)

Offline robomont

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 12:23:42 PM »
brain overload.
has anybody done any research into where the mine location for the metal is.
a mass spec test may give that location.
thus maybe more of a hint to place of manufacture.
the value of that machine i believe,would be like a hundred thousand dollars in todays time.
then again it may have been contracted to indonesia.
ive never been much for rules.
being me has its priviledges.

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Offline ArMaP

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2012, 01:55:13 PM »
Zorgon, great thread! The design of the Antikythera itself is remarkable, but when you consider the tooling necessary for making the gears and teeth, then working in the ratios in relation to each other; it's mind boggling considering when it was made!
The funny thing is that all humans have the tools, our hands and our brains, it's just a question of time and patience.

The calculation of the ratios is a little different, but not really that strange for that era, they had mechanisms made just with ropes and round sticks acting as gears.

Primus58

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2012, 03:12:16 PM »
The funny thing is that all humans have the tools, our hands and our brains, it's just a question of time and patience.

The calculation of the ratios is a little different, but not really that strange for that era, they had mechanisms made just with ropes and round sticks acting as gears.

Before one can make a gear, cut the appropriate tooth pattern, they have to have tooling (far beyond hands) to cut the teeth, another words, it takes specific tooling just to fabricate the parts for this mechanism; tool & dye, and jig! They must have specific knowledge that was beyond what was common in those days. Gearing is more complex than just ratios. This mechanism required specific knowledge and application, via planetary gears, for indexing which ensures the proper timing for accurate readings of time and celestial events. Indexing is used to clock precise patterns, that is a big deal back when this Antikythera was made! The machines I've worked on went from mechanical indexing to digital motors (wafer manufacturing Applied Materials). Gearing to this day is still an art, it requires very specific knowledge; if you don't believe me, I can post many pages from my Machinery Handbook... this device was far beyond ropes and sticks! :o

One of the first mechanical indexers used in watches was the Swiss Geneva drive:




PLAYSWITHMACHINES

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 03:12:33 PM »
Antykythera, brilliant.
At 40:04 they say 'The problem is, they look fine on paper, but when you try to build them, they don't work'

OMG how often i've heard that LOL

Sad, but true.
But the facts that the greeks had stacked & planetary gear systems is still an amazing feat....

About gears & threads, 60 degrees (or a triangle) forms the basic  geometry for a modern gear or thread, designed to transmit power more efficiently.
Geometry again

Now to read the thread...

Cool ;D
I've had 'skilled' metalworkers tell me you can't make a thread on a lathe without a computer.
Tell that to Archimedes :P
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 03:18:27 PM by PLAYSWITHMACHINES »

Offline robomont

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Re: Antikythera Mechanism - Oopart
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 04:57:32 PM »
make a single thread tool with a chaser ,disingage the gear and let it float as the turret turns.the tool cuts and the chaser pushes the tool along.it wont be perfect but in a bind it will get the job done.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 04:59:17 PM by robomont »
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