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Home > 2014 Courses > SCIENCE, CONSERVATION AND MEDICINE > The 2 000 year old computer

THE 2 000 YEAR OLD COMPUTER, THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM

David Wolfe, Emeritus Professor, University of New Mexico, visiting lecturer, Physics Department, University of Cape Town

In 1900 the first ancient marine wreck was discovered in the Mediterranean. It took a century to understand that the most interesting and unique find was a series of small bronze barnacle encrusted fragments. When investigated with sophisticated technology, they turned out to be from an analogue mechanical computer, built about 70 BCE and capable of predicting planetary positions and eclipses of the Sun and the Moon both in the past and the future. Its sophistication is centuries earlier than any mechanism that even began to emulate such a device. How did it work and who could have designed and built it? This double lecture will offer answers to these absorbing questions.

 

Course code: 1018

Date & time: Saturday 25 January 1.00–3.00 pm

LECTURE FEES

Full: R150,00

Staff: R75,00

Reduced: R37,00

Tickets are on sale at the door only if seats are available: R170,00; staff & reduced (on production of cards): R90,00.