Mathematical models: from sundials to number engines: Track 1
Since the dawn of civilisation, humans have used everyday materials...
Since the dawn of civilisation, humans have used everyday materials to create mathematical models of the world around them. This album explores the ancient Greeks' astrolabe as a model of the skies; the sundial, to tell the time; Babylonian clay tablets to record wages and trading of sheep; wooden tallies for bulk-buying beer, the Incas' use of knots and string, and the sophisticated number-engine invented by Charles Babbage. This material forms part of The Open University course MST121 Using mathematics.
- Duration 15 mins
- Published on: Friday 26th March 2010
- Introductory Level
- Posted under: Mathematics and Statistics
A short introduction to this album.
- Read a transcript of this track - you'll need a PDF viewer, such as Adobe's free Adobe Reader
- See details of the Open University course this album comes from
- Discover more from The Open University and iTunesU at open.edu/itunes
Tracks in this podcast:
|1||Mathematical models: from sundials to number engines||A short introduction to this album. Play now Mathematical models: from sundials to number engines|
|2||The sundial as a mathematical model||An ancient mathematical tool to measure the daily and annual cycles of the earth around the sun. Play now The sundial as a mathematical model|
|3||Reading the sky with the astrolabe||How the Greeks invented a two dimensional astrolabe as a conceptual model of the cosmos, and how it was used. Play now Reading the sky with the astrolabe|
|4||Recording sales in clay tablets||Clay tokens, an ancient system used to record goods changing hands. Play now Recording sales in clay tablets|
|5||Incas and their knots||How South American Incas kept records by the use of knots. Play now Incas and their knots|
|6||Wooden tallies for buying beer||How wholesale beer sales were recorded using notches on wooden tallies. Play now Wooden tallies for buying beer|
|7||John Napier's mathematical creations||John Napier's method of multiplication and logarithms, and how Charles Babbage corrected his calculations. Play now John Napier's mathematical creations|
|8||Babbage's engine of precision||Charles Babbage's ingenious mechanical device to compute mathematical equations. Play now Babbage's engine of precision|
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 29th March 2010
- Body text - Content: Copyright The Open University
- Audio/Video tracks: Copyright The Open University
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