Thursday, August 30, 2012

Difference Engine

In 1822 Charles Babbage described the plan for a difference engine - a mechanical device that would use turning geared columns to calculate logarithms and trigonometric functions. Due to technical difficulties and cost overruns, it was never completed, and Babbage moved on to his analytical engine (unfortunately for mechanical computing, also never completed). Today, through the magic of LEGO, we can see his dream realized, the 3-digit difference engine by Aecarol.

And here you can see it in action.

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