Hellenistic Civilization: Science and Mathematics: When Lightning Strikes
Saturday, March 3, 2018
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Russ Lewin
"Mathematics reveals its secrets only to those who approach it with pure love, for its own beauty." ~ Archimedes
Several Greek thinkers made striking discoveries in mathematics, science, and technology that did a great deal to shape our understanding to this day. The originality and profundity of their discoveries is a testament to the ideal of human creativity. In this Forum, several of these important discoveries will be explored, and the work of Archimedes, Apollonius, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, and others will be explained.
The Antikythera Mechanism – a complex analog computer, built over 2000 years ago and used to predict astronomical positions, eclipses, and cycles for calendar and astrological purposes decades in advance, will be examined. The device was retrievedin 1902 from an ancient shipwreck in the Mediterranean. Upon viewing the relic for the first time, noted physicist Richard Feynman said, “it is so entirely different and strange that it is nearly impossible to understand … it is some kind of machine with gear trains.” It took scholars over 100 years to fully understand it, and to build a replica. The workings of the mechanism will be demonstrated.
Suggested donation of $2 per person.