Skip to comments.Lego Antikythera Mechanism
Posted on 12/10/2010 9:22:04 AM PST by Ro_Thunder
Cool video of the Antikythera Mechanism rebuilt in Lego, and how it works.
Seriously - the 'ancients' built his machine thousands of years ago. What else did they know? And why don't we know, now?
“And why don’t we know, now? “
Because those lovely barbarians known as “Mohammetans” burned the library of Alexandria.
And they’re still stuck in the third or sixth century.
Geek Mom Bump :)
Fantastic, thanks! I feel less bad about collecting and playing with LEGO as an adult.
That is awesome !
I hope Lego releases this set. That is so over the top. Thanks for sharing.....C
That’s not a set, that’s a scientific experiment. I can tell you it won’t be released, but you could probably acquire all but the panels if you found out the number and style of pieces and order them all from Lego.com (which won’t be cheap).
No go make something that can rebuild the Pyramids of Giza.
And here I sit staring at the skiploader I finally managed to complete with an erector set.
Consider BCE as I do
They can call it whatever they want, but you know, they still count from the time of Christ, and his birth, so their fault.
Why do you think the knowledge was lost? Just because the library was burned (several times, in fact), doesn't mean anything of importance was lost at all.
Perhaps it was moved into... safekeeping... first.
Knowledge is power, that's why.
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I think my head just exploded.
Wish I had time and money to hire somebody smart to go over that with me.
Actually, Julius Caesar burned the library. The action of which you speak was trivial compared to that of Caesar.
I’m sorry, while it’s very impressive, tt looks like an implementation of Derek J. de Solla Price’s interpertation of Antikythera Mechanicism. Price died in 1983, before high resolution tomographs of it were made and before “Part E” was recognized as part of the mechanism. The device had been submerged in the sea for almost 20 centuries before being discovered in 1900.
The actual device is more sophisticated in many ways than Price imagined, although Price inferred the existence of differential gears almost 1500 years before they are known to have been used, there is no direct evidence of their use in the mechanism and current “best” reconstructions do not employ them.
The device was pre-Ptolemy and probably incorporates astronomy as understood by Hipparcos but did not incorporate the eccentric orbit invented by Ptolmey, but did include epicycles which apparently were known to, if not invented by Hipparcos. Hipparcos based much his astronomy on the observations of the ancient Babylonians. Direct knowledge of Babylonian astronomy is very fragmentary, but Hipparcos incorporated much of it into his own. Our knowledge of Hipparcos is almost soley through Ptolemy, who credits Hipparcos quite generously. Our knowledge of Ptolemy is only through Arab translations of Almagest.
It would be inaccurate to say that we had no clue that such mechanism existed. There are numerous accounts of such mechanism by ancient authors, including Cicero. According to Cicero, Marcellus, the Roman General who lead the sack of Syracuse and ordered that no harm befall Archimedes, kept only one artefact of the loot for himself, a device attributed to Archimedes whose function as described by Cicero was remarkably similar to the Antikythera Mechanism. It is known to have been kept by Marcellus’ family for six generations.
Micheal Wright, who spent decades studying the device and even built his own homemade tomograph to photograph it in the 1980’s, has build a more faithful reconstruct in brass, with original inscriptions in Greek. To see Mr. Wright’s delightful device see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eUibFQKJqI
For a fascinating account of the Mechanism, published in 2009 see: http://www.decodingtheheavens.com/ The author, Jo Marchant, is the narrator of the Micheal Wright video.
It is not at all clear how much destruction of the library can be attributed to Ceasar and even his critics grant that any damage was incidental to burning the Egyptian Navy of Ptolemy XIII. The Library and adjoining buildings were clearly open for business almost immediately after the siege in 48 BC and for centuries later. The library survived at least until the time of the Caliphate, but did not survive it. One story has it that when Caliph Omar’s General Amr asked for instructions on what to do with the library Omar wrote back, “If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran they are heresy, therefore destroy them all.”
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