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...



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.

A New England Emmy Award Nominee!

Episode 1 of Qulture has been nominated for a New England Emmy Award! Check out vermontpbs.org/qulture now to watch the episode and learn about episode 4 coming this May!

Poetry Out Loud

10 finalists from Vermont high schools brought their performances to the Vermont PBS studio for the state finals competition. Watch these captivating presentations now!

Vermont PBS PLUS!

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

Check out our Vermont PBS Wish List

The Wish List is where we display things our station needs. If you enjoy tangible giving, you might consider funding an item – individually or with a group. Click for more info 

Sign up for the Vermont PBS Weekly

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

Lifelong Learning

Upcoming and featured!


People talk about Vermont PBS!

Vermont PBS

204 Ethan Allen Avenue
Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 655-4800
© 2016 Vermont PBS
All Rights Reserved

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn