Antikythera Mechanism.
Explore the remains of a 2,000 years old clocklike mechanism considered to be  an astronomical computer capable of predicting the positions of the sun and moon in the zodiac on any given date.  











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Antikythera Mechanism

Strange Artifacts

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Part 2: An Ancient Greek Computer

An ancient astronomical calculator, built around the end of the second century BC, was unexpectedly sophisticated, a study in this week's Nature suggests. Mike G. Edmunds and colleagues used imaging and high-resolution X-ray tomography to study fragments of the Antikythera Mechanism, a bronze mechanical analog computer thought to calculate astronomical positions. The Greek device contains a complicated arrangement of at least 30 precision, hand-cut bronze gears housed inside a wooden case covered in inscriptions. But the device is fragmented, so its specific functions have remained controversial. The team were able to reconstruct the gear function and double the number of deciphered inscriptions on the computer's casing. The device, they say, is technically more complex than any known device for at least a millennium afterwards. The text is astronomical with many numbers that could be related to planetary motions, and the gears are a mechanical representation of a second century theory that explained the irregularities of the Moon's motion across the sky caused by its elliptical orbit. CONTACT Mike G. Edmunds (Cardiff University, UK).

Read more here and here


The recent discovery

....updated below is the latest discovery..... 12/27/06..... concerning this device. The Earth-Moon relationship only uses 8 or 9 gears to show the relationship between Earth and lunar orbits. After studying some of the other gear rotation angles I chanced upon this very crucial discovery concerning the planet Venus. The tropical year for Venus is 224.70069 Earth days for one orbit.(Wikipedia) If you rotate this circumference 360 degrees along the Earth orbit number 365.246742 days ...Venus/Earth.... and multiply by the Sun Gear(64) you get the value for m used in the article below:

Venus orbit / Earth orbit * Sun gear / ( 10^3 ) = .0393700787 = m
224.6842679 / 365.246742 * 64 / ( 10 ^ 3 ) = .0393700787 = m

......the Venus orbit is m's source ??!!

Results 1 - 100 of about 1,170,000 for inches in one meter. (0.17 seconds)

one meter = 39.3700787 inches

John Wilkins invents the meter

I'm continuing to read An Essay Towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language, the Right Reverend John Wilkins' 1668 book that attempted to lay out a rational universal language.

In skimming over it, I noticed that Wilkins' language contained words for units of measure: "line", "inch", "foot", "standard", "pearch", "furlong", "mile", "league", and "degree". I thought oh, this was another example of a foolish Englishman mistaking his own provincial notions for universals. Wilkins' language has words for Judaism, Christianity, Islam; everything else is under the category of paganism and false gods, and I thought that the introduction of words for inches and feet was another case like that one. But when I read the details, I realized that Wilkins had been smarter than that.

Wilkins recognizes that what is needed is a truly universal measurement standard. He discusses a number of ways of doing this and rejects them. One of these is the idea of basing the standard on the circumference of the earth, but he thinks this is too difficult and inconvenient to be practical.

But he settles on a method that he says was suggested by Christopher Wren, which is to base the length standard on the time standard (as is done today) and let the standard length be the length of a pendulum with a known period. Pendulums are extremely reliable time standards, and their period depends only their length and on the local effect of gravity. Gravity varies only a very little bit over the surface of the earth. So it was a reasonable thing to try.

Wilkins directed that a pendulum be set up with the heaviest, densest possible spherical bob at the end of lightest, most flexible possible cord, and the the length of the cord be adjusted until the period of the pendulum was as close to one second as possible. So far so good. But here is where I am stumped. Wilkins did not simply take the standard length as the length from the fulcrum to the center of the bob. Instead:

...which being done, there are given these two Lengths, viz. of the String, and of the Radius of the Ball, to which a third Proportional must be found out; which must be as the length of the String from the point of Suspension to the Centre of the Ball is to the Radius of the Ball, so must the said Radius be to this third which being so found, let two fifths of this third Proportional be set off from the Centre downwards, and that will give the Measure desired.

Wilkins is saying, effectively: let d be the distance from the point of suspension to the center of the bob, and r be the radius of the bob, and let x by such that d/r = r/x. Then d+(0.4)x is the standard unit of measurement.

Huh? Why 0.4? Why does r come into it? Why not just use d? Huh?

These guys weren't stupid, and there must be something going on here that I don't understand. Can any of the physics experts out there help me figure out what is going on here?

Anyway, the main point of this note is to point out an extraordinary coincidence. Wilkins says that if you follow his instructions above, the standard unit of measurement "will prove to be . . . 39 Inches and a quarter". In other words, almost exactly one meter.

I bet someone out there is thinking that this explains the oddity of the 0.4 and the other stuff I don't understand: Wilkins was adjusting his definition to make his standard unit come out to exactly one meter, just as we do today. (The modern meter is defined as the distance traveled by light in 1/299,792,458 of a second. Why 299,792,458? Because that's how long it happens to take light to travel one meter.) But no, that isn't it. Remember, Wilkins is writing this in 1668. The meter wasn't invented for another 110 years.

Having defined the meter, which he called the "Standard", Wilkins then went on to define smaller and larger units, each differing from the standard by a factor that was a power of 10. So when Wilkins puts words for "inch" and "foot" into his universal language, he isn't putting in words for the common inch and foot, but rather the units that are respectively 1/100 and 1/10 the size of the Standard. His "inch" is actually a centimeter, and his "mile" is a kilometer, to within a fraction of a percent.

Wilkins also defined units of volume and weight measure. A cubic Standard was called a "bushel", and he had a "quart" (1/100 bushel, approximately 10 liters) and a "pint" (approximately one liter). For weight he defined the "hundred" as the weight of a bushel of distilled rainwater; this almost precisely the same as the original definition of the gram. A "pound" is then 1/100 hundred, or about ten kilograms. I don't understand why Wilkins' names are all off by a factor of ten; you'd think he would have wanted to make the quart be a millibushel, which would have been very close to a common quart, and the pound be the weight of a cubic foot of water (about a kilogram) instead of ten cubic feet of water (ten kilograms). But I've read this section over several times, and I'm pretty sure I didn't misunderstand.

Wilkins also based a decimal currency on his units of volume: a "talent" of gold or silver was a cubic standard. Talents were then divided by tens into hundreds, pounds, angels, shillings, pennies, and farthings. A silver penny was therefore 10-5 cubic Standard of silver. Once again, his scale seems off. A cubic Standard of silver weighs about 10.4 metric tonnes. Wilkins' silver penny is about is nearly ten cubic centimeters of metal, weighing 104 grams (about 3.5 troy ounces), and his farthing is 10.4 grams. A gold penny is about 191 grams, or more than six ounces of gold. For all its flaws, however, this is the earliest proposal I am aware of for a fully decimal system of weights and measures, predating the metric system, as I said, by about 110 years.




More about calculator

Putting it all together, CT Slices and Geometry of the Antikythera Mechanism.. the last website is the complete schematic breakdown of the device , shown in five gear colors , blue , yellow-sun gear , green , orange , purple and dark green. Thirty gear numbers are shown , each having one of the above colors. The key number constant used in all thirty gears is the modern metric to english conversion constant ...( 39.3700787 inches = 1 meter )... rewritten to this form :

39.3700787 / ( 10 ^ 3 ) = m = 1/25.4

....all thirty gears are linked and can be turned all at once by the rotation of any one gear in the system . I chose the blue(50) gear as a starting point and turned this gear exactly one-revolution or 360 degrees. The gematric formula for this angle is the sacred number 72 , times one half the metric standard 254 ( 254/2 = 127 ):

72 * 127 * m = 360 degrees

....this angle is transferred to the second blue(50) gear because of its being self similar to the first blue(50) gear. This angle is also transferred to the blue(32) gear because of a shared axle. The next step is the blue(32) gear's link to gear , blue(127) .

This link is the famous sacred Alautun time cycle number ...2304...from Aztec and Mayan culture. Here is a link with the explanation of the number:

....this is very important to the explanation of the Antikythera device because both the 1152 and 2304 units are Mayan calendar constants measured in DAYS !! the same as the Antikythera mechanism !!

20 calabtun = 1 kinchiltin = a cycle of 11520000000 days
20 kinchiltin = 1 alautun = a cycle of 23040000000 days I would say that 1152 ( kinchiltin ) is a thing of Mayan origin as is the 2304 (alautun ) number.

blue(127) = 2304 * m = 32 / 127 * 360 = 90.70866132 degrees
blue(24) = 2304 * m = 32 / 127 * 360 = 90.70866132 degrees

...that is when you turn the starter blue(50) gear 360 degrees, the blue(127) gear will turn 90.70866132 degrees. The blue(24) gear shares an axle with the blue(127) gear and thus shares the rotation of the blue(127) gear. Blue(24) gear then transfers this rotation to the blue(48) gear . This angle of rotation is the gematric number known as the Egyptian foot number ..1152...:

blue(38) = 1152 * m = 32/127*24/48*360 = 45.35433066 degrees
blue(48) = 1152 * m = 32/127*24/48*360 = 45.35433066 degrees shares an axle with blue(48) and thus transfers this angle of rotation to the so-called Sun gear... yellow(64)..The number 19 appears here not as years of the Metonic cycle but as DAYS!! on the edge of gear wheels:

Sun gear = 36 * 19 * m = 32/127*24/48*38/64*360 = 26.92913383 degrees

....all of the green gears share the same angle of rotation as the Sun gear. The orange gears appear when the second gear with 38 cogs appears as orange(38). It has the same angle of rotation as the blue(38) gear:

orange(38) = 1152 * m = 32/127*24/48*360 = 45.3543306 degrees
orange(53) = 1152 * m = 32/127*24/48*360 = 45.3543306 degrees shares an axle with orange(38) and thus transfers this angle of rotation to orange(96)

orange(96) = 25 + m = 53*12 * m = 32/127*24/48*53/96*360 = 25.0393700787 degrees and orange(27) gears share axles with orange(96) and thus transfers angular rotation to the large gear purple(223):

purple(223) = 53*12*27*m/223 = 36*m+360/223 = 32/127*24/48*53/96*27/223*360 degrees

..purple(53) edges with purple(223) thus picking up an angular rotation of:

purple(53) = 54 * 6 * m = 32/127*24/48*27/96*360 = 12.7559055 degrees
purple(30) = 54 * 6 * m = 32/127*24/48*27/96*360 = 12.7559055 degrees

...purple(30) shares an axle with purple(53) and thus the same rotation. Purple(30) edges with purple(54) resulting in an angle turn of 7.086614166 degrees for purple(54):

purple(54) = 180 * m = 7.086614166 degrees

...three other gears share this angle of rotation and thus the same axle, purple(20) , dk green(53) , dk green(15). dk green(15) transfers the angle to gear dk green(60) and gear dk green(12) which shares an axle with dk green(60):

dk green(60) = 180 / 4 * m = 32/127*24/48*15/96*15/60*360 = 1.771653542 degrees
dk green(12) = 180 / 4 * m = 32/127*24/48*15/96*15/60*360 = 1.771653542 degrees green(12) transfers the angle of rotation to the last gear in the chain, dk green(60)

dk green(60) = 9 * m = 32/127*24/48*15/96*15/60*12/60*360 = .354330708 degrees

...showing the angles of rotation in spreadsheet form: cl = clockwise, c
cl counterclockwise


blue(50) 72 * 127 * m 1 360 ccl
blue(50) 72 * 127 * m 1 360 cl
blue(32) 72 * 127 * m 1 360 cl
blue(127) 2304 * m 32/127*360 90.70866132 ccl
blue(24) 2304 * m 32/127*360 90.70855132 ccl
blue(48) 1152 * m 32/127*24/48*360 45.35433066 cl
blue(38) 1152 * m 32/127*24/48*360 45.35433066 cl

sun gear(64) 36 * 19 * m 32/127*24/48*38/64*360 26.92913383 cl

green(32) 36 * 19 * m 32/127*24/48*38/64*360 26.92913383 cl
green(32) 36 * 19 * m 32/127*24/48*38/64*360 26.92913383 ccl
green(50) 36 * 19 * m 32/127*24/48*38/64*360 26.92913383 ccl
green(50) 36 * 19 * m 32/127*24/48*38/64*360 26.92913383 cl

orange(38) 1152 * m 32/127*24/48*360 45.35433066 ccl
orange(53) 1152 * m 32/127*24/48*360 45.35433066 ccl
orange(96) 53*12 * m = 25+m 32/127*24/48*53/96*360 25.0393700787 cl
orange(15) 53*12 * m = 25+m 32/127*24/48*53/96*360 25.0393700787 cl
orange(27) 53*12 * m = 25+m 32/127*24/48*53/96*360 25.0393700787 cl

purple(223) 53*12*27*m/223 32/127*24/48*53/96*27/223*360 3.031672609 ccl
purple(53) 54 * 6 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*360 12.7559055 cl
purple(30) 54 * 6 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*360 12.7559055 cl
purple(54) 180 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*30/54*360 7.086614166 ccl
purple(20) 180 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*30/54*360 7.086614166 ccl
purple(60) 60 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*30/54*20/60*360 2.362204722 cl
purple(15) 60 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*30/54*20/60*360 2.362204722 cl
purple(60) 15 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*30/54*20/60*15/60*360 .59055118 ccl

dk green(53) 180 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*30/54*360 7.086614166 ccl
dk green(15) 180 * m 32/127*24/48*27/96*30/54*360 7.086614166 ccl
dk green(60) 180/4 * m 32/127*24/48*15/96*15/60*360 1.771653542 cl
dk green(12) 180/4 * m 32/127*24/48*15/96*15/60*360 1.771653542 cl
dk green(60) 9 * m 32/127*24/48*15/96*15/60*12/60*36 .354330708 ccl does this data relate to the earth-moon interaction? One can observe that the last gear in the chain of 360 degree rotation , blue(32)...if one makes this gear analogous to the moon lunar cycle...29.530588 days in one orbit around earth , then blue (32) and the lunar cycle share an axle that rotates 360 degrees. Transferring this 360 degree rotation of the lunar cycle to the earth cycle around the sun...365.246743 days in one tropical year , on this earth cycle axle , place the 5 sets of 47 (235) markings of the exterior dials of the device on the earth axis of rotation and multiply by the metric m :

29.530588 / 365.2467463 * 5 * 47 *m * 36 = 26.92913386 degrees = 19 * 36 * m = sun gear(64)
29.530588 / 365.2467463 * 235 / 254 = 26.92913386 degrees = 19 * 36 * m = sun gear(64)

...this is exactly the angle turned by the sun gear when the blue(50) gear is rotated once!! Checking the number constants I wanted to see if the number 37 is any where in the angles of rotation or in the gear numbers. Strangely it sits at the heart of the Earth/Moon link. When the lunar cycle 29.530588 days is rotated once (360 degrees) on the Earth cycle .365.246743 days... an angle of rotation is generated on the Earth cycle rim:

29.530588 / 365.246743 * 360 = degrees of rotation of Earth orbit disc = 29.10638332

....37 derives this angle through the 47 markings on the outside dials of the device:

(( 37 ^ 2 ) - 1 ) / 47 = 29.10638332 degrees

...which means the 37 form can generate the sun gear angle for all of the green gears:

(( 37 ^ 2 ) - 1 ) / 47 * 235 / 254 = 26.92913386 degrees = 36 * 19 * m

Copyright J.Iuliano 
Presented with permission.

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