Nova

Ancient Computer

Series Website »
Episode Guide »
In 1900, a storm blew a boatload of sponge divers off course and forced them to take shelter by the tiny Mediterranean island of Antikythera. Diving the next day, they discovered a 2,000-year-old Greek shipwreck. Among the ship's cargo they hauled up was an unimpressive green lump of corroded bronze. Rusted remnants of gear wheels could be seen on its surface, suggesting some kind of intricate mechanism. The first X-ray studies confirmed that idea, but how it worked and what it was for puzzled scientists for decades. Recently, hi-tech imaging has revealed the extraordinary truth: this unique clockwork machine was the world's first computer. An array of 30 intricate bronze gear wheels, originally housed in a shoebox-size wooden case, was designed to predict the dates of lunar and solar eclipses, track the Moon's subtle motions through the sky and calculate the dates of significant events such as the Olympic Games. No device of comparable technological sophistication is known from anywhere in the world for at least another 1,000 years. So who was the genius inventor behind it? And what happened to the advanced astronomical and engineering knowledge of its makers? NOVA follows the ingenious sleuthing that finally decoded the truth behind the amazing ancient Greek computer.
 

More...

  • Nuclear Meltdown Disaster
  • Chasing Pluto
  • Lethal Seas
  • Nazi Attack on America
  • Invisible Universe Revealed
  • The Great Math Mystery
  • Hagia Sophia: Istanbul's Ancient Mystery
  • Petra: Lost City of Stone
  • Colosseum: Roman Death Trap
  • Sinkholes—Buried Alive
  • Sunken Ship Rescue
  • Big Bang Machine
  • First Man on the Moon
  • Killer Landslides
  • Emperor's Ghost Army
  • Bigger Than T. rex
  • First Air War
  • Ben Franklin's Balloons
  • Why Planes Vanish
  • Surviving Ebola
  • Vaccines—Calling the Shots
  • D-Day's Sunken Secrets
  • Escape from Nazi Alcatraz
  • Why Sharks Attack


Comments

Share your thoughts, questions, and comments on "Nova" here.
 

Vermont PBS educates, informs, entertains and inspires Vermonters to be lifelong learners and engaged in their community.

Sign up for the Vermont PBS Weekly

Our weekly email newsletter highlighting upcoming shows and important station news. Sign up today!

 

 

Vermont PBS Wins Most Viewed from PBS Online Film Festival!

Two winners of the fourth-annual PBS Online Film Festival were announced today. And our submission of “11 Paper Place” won most viewed!

Our Productions

Original series, specials, documentaries and web shows produced by Vermont PBS

DonorSpeak

Vermont PBS donors talk about why they love and support us!

CEO Holly Groschner is "Talkin' Vermont"

Holly is on a mission to get to know more Vermonters, what inspires them, what makes them tick, and to learn how Vermont PBS can better serve. Watch the video...

Vermont PBS PLUS!

Learn about our second HD broadcast service offering alternative programming and more content from local and regional producers.

Lifelong Learning

Our staff say why they support Vermont PBS!



Download the New PBS Video App now available on both Android and iOS platforms


Vermont PBS Announces First Recipient of Public Media Ambassador Award

Vermont PBS

204 Ethan Allen Avenue
Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 655-4800
© 2015 Vermont PBS
All Rights Reserved

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn