Google Celebrate’s the Discovery of Antikythera mechanism with Google Doodle

Today Google doodle clebrates with the Discovery of Antikythera mechanism

But what is the Antikythera mechanism?

The Antikythera mechanism is believed to be an ancient mechanical analog computer (as opposed to most computers today which are digital computers) designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was discovered in the Antikythera wreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, and has been dated to about 150-100 BC. It is especially notable for being a technological artifact with no known predecessor or successor; other machines using technology of such complexity would not appear until the 18th century.

The mechanism was housed in a wooden box approximately 340 x 180 x 90 mm in size and comprised 30 bronze gears (although more could have been lost). The largest gear, clearly visible in fragment A, was approximately 140 mm in diameter and probably had either 223 or 224 teeth. The mechanism’s remains were found as 82 separate fragments of which only seven contain any gears or significant inscriptions.

The origins of the mechanism are unclear, as are the circumstances by which it came to be on the cargo ship. The ship was Roman, but there is no doubt that the mechanism itself was made in Greece.

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. 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.

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