After 2000 years they finally discover what the Antikythera Mechanism is, the world’s oldest computer | Technique
Scientists from UCL Mechanical Engineering in the UK believe they have discovered the key that will allow the mysterious Antikythera Mechanism to be completely rebuilt.
Discovered in 1901 among the remains of a Roman-era ship on the island of Antikythera (Greece) at a depth of 45 meters. The Antikythera Mechanism is considered the first analog computer in history. It is estimated that it was built between 70 and 200 BC, so it was built approximately 2,200 years.
For a century no one knew what it was, but little by little the puzzle pieces are finished.
The Antikythera Mechanism It is a complex tool that consists of 30 bronze gears With many unknown symbols engraved around it. Its manufacturing technology is so advanced that these exact clock mechanisms were not found again until the year 1500, that is, Approximately 1,700 years after it was manufactured:
Unfortunately, it was found in an advanced state of neglect, fragmented into 82 pieces, and Only a third of the device is fully preserved.
The Antikythera Mechanism is shaped like a table clock, although only by analogy 34 x 18 x 9 cm, Contains more than 15,000 letters in the Corinthian language, which reveal its Greek origin. Some of the figures are only 1.2 mm in size, which, combined with the ignorance of the languages and sciences of the period in which they were manufactured, prevented the discovery of the purpose of their use … until now.
In 2005, he was scanned in 3D with an X-ray system, which virtually allowed some of his gears to be separated, and it was discovered that it was A type of planetarium where the orbits of the planets were predicted. But how he did it is unknown.
Now a group of researchers from the School of Mechanical Engineering in London, led by Professor Tony Freight, They solved an essential piece of the puzzle.
When performing the 3D scan, they detected two dates on a board: 462 and 442 years old. Using the mathematical methods of the philosopher of the time, Parmenides, they determined this These dates are the planetary cycles of Venus and Saturn in the sky, Straight.
And most interesting: using the preserved signs and gears, they were able to model the model New 63-tooth gear fits the machine, And that when moving allows those planetary rotations to be calculated precisely. Thanks for that They were able to calculate The cycles of the rest of the planets in the solar system, and Adding the missing parts to the Antikythera Mechanism, Which would look something like this:
Currently, these calculations have been performed using computer simulations. It will be the next step Physically build the mechanism with all the partsAnd check if it actually works.
And although he seems to be gradually revealing all of his secrets, there is still the hardest thing about it: How did the Greeks 2000 years ago build such a sophisticated machineWhen these precise clockwork mechanisms did not appear until 1500 years later.
A mystery we may never solve …
“Pop culture advocate. Troublemaker. Friendly student. Proud problem solver.”