Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ancient Electricity and Computing

"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it." -- George Orwell, writer, 1945

Ancient Electricity

Keyser, P.T., The Purpose of the Parthian Galvanic Cells: A First Century AD Electric Battery Used For Analgesia, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 52, Number 2, Pages 81-98, Apr 1993

Von Handorf, D.E., The Baghdad Battery: Myth or Reality?, Plating and Surface Finishing, Volume 89, Number 5, Pages 84-87, 2002

Riddle of 'Baghdad Batteries', BBC, Feb 2003

Pilkington, M., Ancient Electricity, The Guardian, Apr 2004

Kanani, N., The Parthian Battery: Electric Current 2000 Years Ago?, VINI, Number 7, Pages 167-204, 2004

Corder, G.W., Using an Unconventional History of the Battery to Engage Students and Explore the Importance of Evidence, Virginia Journal of Science Education, Volume 1, Number 1, Pages 33-36, 2006

Ancient Computers

Charette, F., Archaeology: High Tech From Ancient Greece, Nature, Volume 444, Pages 551-552, Nov 2006

Freeth, T., Decoding the Ancient Greek Astronomical Calculator Known as the Antikythera Mechanism, Nature, Volume 444, Pages 587-591, Nov 2006

Ball, P., Complex Clock Combines Calendars: Antikythera Mechanism May Have Timetabled Ancient Olympic Games, Nature, Volume 454, Page 561, Jul 2008

Wilford, J.N., Discovering How Greeks Computed In 100 B.C., The New York Times, Jul 2008

Marchant, J., Was Ancient Greek 'Computer' an Astronomical Tool?, New Scientist, Issue 2667, Jul 2008

Marchant, J., Archimedes and the 2000-Year Old Computer, New Scientist, Issue 2696, Dec 2008

Sorrel, C., World's First Computer Rebuilt: Rebooted After 2000 Years, Wired, Dec 2008


Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

Thank you for gathering all this info in one convenient place! I will read but may not fully understand....

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

Having read the battery information, I agree that they had a working knowledge of electricity. There is a clue in the size of the items, they are for the hand.
Larger vessels would have been used for gilding, both for larger items and for sake of speed.
I think the lack of such gilt items is rather damning to this use.
Archimedes is alleged to have been killed while demonstrating a way of discovering forgery by gilding, that the density of the item would show that the item was copper or silver gilt only.
Remember Croesus?
How can I forget the ol' bastid!
His wealth might have been less if he had been using electroplate.....
Last the alchemists might have been using electroplate to turn heavy lead into gold, based on earlier discovery of these items or parchment/papyrus from the fall of Constantinople?

OilIsMastery said...

"Thank you for gathering all this info in one convenient place!"

Thank you for commenting!

"Remember Croesus?"

I remember he said something like "Solon! Solon!" LOL.

Wise man.