The Super Accuracy of the 2000-Year-Old “Computer” from Antikythera has been confirmed

The Super Accuracy of the 2000-Year-Old “Computer” from Antikythera has been confirmed
Experts from University College London and the University of California at Los Angeles have created a model for the first time that mimics the action of the famous Antikythera Mechanism. The model only confirmed the incredible accuracy of the calculations that could be done with this device.

The study was published in Scientific Reports, and a summary of it appeared on the UCL website. The Antikythera Mechanism was discovered in 1901 by divers off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera. It was found at the bottom, at the site of a shipwreck from the Roman period.

Its age is about 2000 years. It has been the subject of controversy in academia for over a century. Not so long ago, this device was recognized as the most ancient “analog computer” – it was found that it could be used to make accurate astronomical calculations. However, the process itself remained a mystery.

In a new study, experts say they have solved at least part of a long-standing puzzle. They did this thanks to a model that completely imitates the famous mechanism. An interdisciplinary research group took part in the work. The task was complicated by the fact that today about a third of the entire mechanism has survived.

This “astronomical calculator” is a bronze device made up of a complex combination of gears. To date, 30 bronze gears have been lifted from the bottom. They were used in ancient times to predict astronomical events, including eclipses, moon phases, planetary positions, and even the dates of the Olympic Games.

A 2005 study using three-dimensional X-rays showed exactly how the mysterious mechanism predicted eclipses and calculated the phases of the moon. It also made it possible to read thousands of text characters invisible to the naked eye. For example, the inscriptions on the back panel turned out to be descriptions of planetary motion. They are the main focus of the new study.

For example, hidden texts indicate certain periods of time with a duration of 462 and 442 years. It has been suggested that these numbers accurately represent the cycles of Venus and Saturn, respectively. When viewed from Earth, planetary cycles sometimes change their motion relative to the stars. Therefore, it takes a long time to keep track of these loop variables.

“Classical astronomy of the first millennium BC originated in Babylon, but nothing in it says how the ancient Greeks determined a high-precision 462-year cycle for Venus and a 442-year cycle for Saturn,” explains co-author Aris Dakanalis.

The team used the ancient Greek mathematical method described by the philosopher Parmenides. This helped not only to explain how the cycles of motion of Venus and Saturn were calculated in ancient times, but also to restore the cycles of motion of all other planets present on the panels of the mechanism.

According to researcher David Higgon, it was possible to establish that a 63-tooth bronze gear played a decisive role in accurately predicting the cycles of motion of Venus. The team then created innovative mechanisms for all planets for which astronomical cycles can be calculated.

Thus, the study confirmed the amazing accuracy of the calculations that could be performed using the Antikythera Mechanism. The model also showed that the ancient system could be simplified – scientists saw an opportunity to minimize the number of gears in the mechanism, which would make it possible to reduce its size.

“A key theoretical advance has been made on how exactly the cosmos was structured in this mechanism,” added co-author Dr. Adam Wojczyk. “Now we must prove its feasibility using ancient methods. astronomical data “.

Scientists note that the discovery brings science closer to understanding all the capabilities of the Antikythera mechanism and how accurately it is able to predict astronomical events. We add that this artifact is kept in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

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