AGM & The Antikythera Mechanism: Mankind’s First Known Analogue Computer

Presented by Drs Margaret Folkard & John Ward, Sundials Australia

Drs John Ward and Margaret Folkard are retired physicists who worked for many years at DSTO in the fields of optics, lasers and growing complex semiconductor materials. For over 40 years they have been involved with their hobby business "Sundials Australia", making all sorts of sundials for locations in Australia and around the world. People who study sundials are known as "gnomonists" from the Greek word for "pointer" or "indicator". A gnomon is the part of a sundial which casts the time-telling shadow onto a sundial plate. They have gradually developed a well-equipped workshop with lots of mechanical equipment such as mills, lathes, sandblasting, welding, pattern-making and computing facilities. They have a museum of sundials old and new which includes several rare time-keeping devices. In
addition, they have an extensive library of books about sundials and time-keeping throughout the ages. To spread the word about their hobby, they have written a book "Sundials Australia" which, unlike all previous sundial books, describes sundials from a Southern Hemisphere perspective. It has been sold all around the world. For many years they have been interested in the World's oldest known analogue computer, termed "The Antikythera Mechanism". This astronomical device was designed and made in bronze about 2000 years ago. It was able to predict astronomical positions and eclipses of the 5 planets known at that time.

Annual General Meeting

Annual reports from the President, Secretary & Treasurer along with declaration of the 2019 Council.

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Event info

Wednesday 05 Dec 2018

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Kerr Grant Theatre 2nd Floor, Physics Building, University of Adelaide, North Tce Adelaide



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