Antikythera Mechanism

I only discovered this yesterday. BBC Four has shown a film on the Antikythera mechanism. It can be found here

I haven’t had a chance to view the programme yet so I don’t know whether it is any good. Note that even if you are in a region where you can view iPlayer programmes it is only available for one more day (unless you download to the iPlayer desktop).

UPDATE: 22/5/12. I managed to watch the programme last night. It was quite good despite an early lapse in voiceover grammar and some dodgy computer effects (most were ok – just some were dodgy). And who was the mystery woman who walked around the Greek games stadium with the academic who was explaining it to us?

Anyhow, leaving aside the minor problems that beset all TV productions the programme did cover the recent revelations of the mechanism by the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project but did not ignore the contribution of Michael Wright of the British Museum. I do have to argue with the speculation that Archimedes had been in some way involved. There is no evidence that his knowledge was used to construct the mechanism. (The programme also repeated the myth that Archimedes had been killed whilst drawing in the sand. Some of Plutarch’s stories say he was working on a problem but none say it was in the sand.) The bit about the front of the device representing the planets also seemed a bit speculative.

Get the newsletter!

Fancy a newsletter keeping you up-to-date with maths news, articles, videos and events you might otherwise miss? Then sign up below. (No spam and I will never share your details with anyone else.)