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Encyclopedia > Analytical Engine

The analytical engine, an important step in the history of computers, was the design of a mechanical general-purpose computer by the British professor of mathematics Charles Babbage. It was first described in 1837, but Babbage continued to work on the design until his death in 1871. Because of financial, political, and legal issues, the engine was never actually built. In its logical design the machine was essentially modern, anticipating the first completed general-purpose computers by about 100 years. Computing hardware has been an essential component of the process of calculation and data storage since it became necessary for data to be processed and shared. ... The NASA Columbia Supercomputer. ... Charles Babbage (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, mechanical engineer and (proto-) computer scientist who originated the idea of a programmable computer. ... Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom (1837 - 1901) 1837 (MDCCCXXXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


Some believe that the technological limitations of the time were a further obstacle to the construction of the machine; others believe that the machine could have been built successfully with the technology of the era if funding and political support had been stronger. Charles Babbage was notoriously hard to work with and alienated a great number of people who had at first supported him, including his engineer Joseph Clement[1]. Joseph Clement was a British engineer and industrialist. ...

Contents

Design

Charles Babbage's first attempt at a mechanical computing device was the difference engine, a special-purpose calculator designed to tabulate logarithms and trigonometric functions by evaluating approximate polynomials. As this project faltered for personal and political reasons, he realized that a much more general design was possible and started work designing the analytical engine. Part of Babbages Difference engine, assembled after his death by Babbages son, using parts found in his laboratory. ... Logarithms to various bases: is to base e, is to base 10, and is to base 1. ... All of the trigonometric functions of an angle θ can be constructed geometrically in terms of a unit circle centered at O. Trigonometric functions: , , , , , In mathematics, the trigonometric functions (also called circular functions) are functions of an angle; they are important when studying triangles and modeling periodic phenomena, among many other... In mathematics, a polynomial is an expression that is constructed from one or more variables and constants, using only the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and constant positive whole number exponents. ...


The analytical engine was to be powered by a steam engine and would have been over 30 metres long and 10 metres wide. The input (programs and data) was to be provided to the machine via punched cards, a method being used at the time to direct mechanical looms. For output, the machine would have a printer, a curve plotter and a bell. The machine would also be able to punch numbers onto cards to be read in later. It employed ordinary base-10 fixed-point arithmetic. // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... A CTR census machine, utilizing a punched card system. ... A Turkish woman in Konya works at a traditional loom. ... Decimal, or denary, notation is the most common way of writing the base 10 numeral system, which uses various symbols for ten distinct quantities (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, called digits) together with the decimal point and the sign symbols + (plus) and − (minus...


There was to be a store (i.e., a memory) capable of holding 1,000 numbers of 50 digits each. An arithmetical unit (the "mill") would be able to perform all four arithmetic operations, plus comparisons and optionally square roots. Initially it was conceived as a difference engine curved back upon itself, in a generally circular layout,[2] with the long store exiting off to one side. (Later drawings depict a regularized grid layout.)[3] Like the central processing unit (CPU) in a modern computer, the mill would rely upon its own internal procedures, to be stored in the form of pegs inserted into rotating drums called "barrels," in order to carry out some of the more complex instructions the user's program might specify.[4] (See microcode for the modern equivalent.) The arithmetic logic unit/arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) of a computers CPU is a part of the execution unit, a core component of all CPUs. ... Arithmetic tables for children, Lausanne, 1835 Arithmetic or arithmetics (from the Greek word αριθμός = number) is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple daily counting to advanced science and business calculations. ... In mathematics, a square root of a number x is a number r such that , or in words, a number r whose square (the result of multiplying the number by itself) is x. ... Part of Babbages Difference engine, assembled after his death by Babbages son, using parts found in his laboratory. ... Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ... A microprogram is a program consisting of microcode that controls the different parts of a computers central processing unit (CPU). ...


The programming language to be employed by users was akin to modern day assembly languages. Loops and conditional branching were possible and so the language as conceived would have been Turing-complete long before Alan Turing's concept. Three different types of punch cards were used: one for arithmetical operations, one for numerical constants, and one for load and store operations, transferring numbers from the store to the arithmetical unit or back. There were three separate readers for the three types of cards. See the terminology section, below, regarding inconsistent use of the terms assembly and assembler. ... In computability theory a programming language or any other logical system is called Turing-complete if it has a computational power equivalent to a universal Turing machine. ... Alan Mathison Turing, OBE (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. ...


In 1842, the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea, whom Babbage had met while travelling in Italy, wrote a description of the engine in French. In 1843, the description was translated into English and extensively annotated by Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, who had become interested in the engine ten years earlier. In recognition of her additions to Menabrea's paper, which included a way to calculate Bernoulli numbers using the machine, she has been described as the first computer programmer. The modern computer programming language Ada is named in her honour. Federico Luigi, Conte Menabrea, Marquis of Valdora (September 4, 1809 - May 24, 1896), Italian general and statesman, was born at Chambry. ... Year 1843 (MDCCCXLIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Ada Lovelace Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (December 10, 1815 – November 27, 1852), born Augusta Ada Byron, is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbages early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. ... In 1840 Charles Babbage was invited to give a seminar at the University of Turin about his analytical engine. ... In mathematics, the Bernoulli numbers Bn were first discovered in connection with the closed forms of the sums for various fixed values of n. ... A programmer or software developer is someone who programs computers, that is, one who writes computer software. ... Ada is a structured, statically typed imperative computer programming language designed by a team led by Jean Ichbiah of CII Honeywell Bull under contract to the United States Department of Defense during 1977–1983. ...


Partial construction

Late in his life, Babbage sought ways to build a simplified version of the machine, and assembled a small part of it before his death in 1871.[4] But in 1878, a committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science recommended against constructing the analytical engine, which sank Babbage's efforts for government funding. 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... The British Association or the British Association for the Advancement of Science or the BA is a learned society with the object of promoting science, directing general attention to scientific matters, and facilitating intercourse between scientific workers. ...


In 1910, Babbage's son Henry P. Babbage reported that a part of the mill and the printing apparatus had been constructed and had been used to calculate a (faulty) list of multiples of pi. This constituted only a small part of the whole engine; it was not programmable and had no storage. (Popular images of this section have sometimes been mislabeled, implying that it was the entire mill or even the entire engine.) Year 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... When a circles diameter is 1, its circumference is π. The mathematical constant π is an irrational real number, approximately equal to 3. ...


Henry also proposed building a demonstration version of the full engine, with a smaller storage capacity: "perhaps for a first machine twenty [columns] would do, with twenty-five wheels in each".[5] Such a version could manipulate 20 numbers of 25 digits each, and what it could be told to do with those numbers could still be impressive. "It is only a question of cards and time," wrote Henry Babbage in 1888, "...and there is no reason why [twenty thousand] cards should not be used if necessary, in an Analytical Engine for the purposes of the mathematician."[5]


Influence

Computer science

The analytical engine was then all but forgotten, with three known exceptions. Percy Ludgate wrote about the engine in 1915 and even designed his own analytical engine (it was drawn up in detail but never built). Ludgate's engine would be much smaller than Babbage's of about 8 cubic feet (230 L) and hypothetically would be capable of multiplying two 20-decimal-digit numbers in about six seconds. Leonardo Torres y Quevedo and Vannevar Bush also knew of Babbage's work, though the three inventors likely did not know of each other. Percy Ludgate (August 2, 1883- October 16, 1922) was an accountant in Dublin and designer of an Analytical Engine. ... Leonardo Torres y Quevedo (28 December 1852 – 18 December 1936), usually Leonardo Torres Quevedo in Spanish-speaking countries, was a Spanish engineer and mathematician of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ... Vannevar Bush (March 11, 1890 – June 30, 1974) was an American engineer and science administrator, known for his political role in the development of the atomic bomb, and the idea of the memex—seen as a pioneering concept for the World Wide Web. ...


Closely related to Babbage's work on the analytical engine was the work of George Stibitz of Bell Laboratories in New York just prior to WWII, as well as Howard Hathaway Aiken at Harvard University during and just after WWII. They both built electromechanical (i.e. relay-and-switch) computers which were closely related to the analytical engine, though neither was (quite) a modern programmable computer. Aiken's machine was largely financed by IBM and was called the Harvard Mark I. Aiken was inspired by a piece of the Analytical engine deposited at the university by Henry Babbage in 1886, and discovered by him in the 1930s. He gained access to Babbage's writings and later clamed, pointing to Babbage's books:[6][7] George Stibitz George Stibitz (April 20, 1904 – January 31, 1995) is internationally recognized as the father of the modern digital computer. ... Bell Telephone Laboratories or Bell Labs was originally the research and development arm of the United States Bell System, and was the premier corporate facility of its type, developing a range of revolutionary technologies from telephone switches to specialized coverings for telephone cables, to the transistor. ... NY redirects here. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Harvard Mark I / IBM ASCC, left side. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... International Business Machines Corporation (known as IBM or Big Blue; NYSE: IBM) is a multinational computer technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century. ... Portion of the Harvard-IBM Mark 1, left side. ...

There's my education in computers, right there; this is the whole thing, everything I took out of a book.

In molecular nanotechnology, the earliest proposal for a way to implement extremely small and fast computers relied upon logic gates constructed from sliding rods and stubby protrusions to conditionally restrict their motion.[1] Similar computational "rod-logic" was present in the sliding control levers and studded barrel devices which were used to access the microprogram in Babbage's design.[4] Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) is the concept of engineering functional mechanical systems at the molecular scale. ... A logic gate is an arrangement of electronically-controlled switches used to calculate operations in Boolean algebra. ... A microprogram implements a CPU instruction set. ...


From Babbage's autobiography:

As soon as an Analytical Engine exists, it will necessarily guide the future course of the science.

Fiction

  • In the Michael Flynn novel In the Country of the Blind, a secret society calling itself the Babbage Society secretly financed the building of Babbage Engines in the mid-1800s. In the novel, the Society uses the Babbage engines along with a statistical science called Cliology to predict and manipulate future history. In the process, they predict the rise of the Nazis and accidentally started the US Civil War.

Berlins Sony Center reflects the global reach of a Japanese corporation. ... William Ford Gibson (born March 17, 1948, Conway, South Carolina) is an American-born science fiction author resident in Canada since 1968. ... Michael Bruce Sterling (born April 14, 1954) is an American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which defined the cyberpunk genre. ... A manned cannon bullet lands on the moon in Le Voyage dans la Lune Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction which came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. ... Alternate history (fiction) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Difference Engine is an alternate history novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. ... Faction Paradox is the fictional time travelling voodoo cult/rebel group/organized crime syndicate created by Lawrence Miles. ... Faction Paradox is a fictional time travelling voodoo cult/rebel group/organized crime syndicate created by Lawrence Miles. ... Lawrence Miles (born 1972 in Middlesex) is a science-fiction author best known for his work on original Doctor Who novels (both for the Virgin New Adventures and BBC Books series) and the subsequent spin-off Faction Paradox. ... “Houses of Parliament” redirects here. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... The Peshawar Lancers The Peshawar Lancers is an alternate history adventure novel by S. M. Stirling, with its point of divergence set in 1878. ... Stephen Michael Stirling is a Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author. ... Srinagar   (Hindi: श्रीनगर, Urdu: سرینگر, Kashmiri: سِرېنَگَر सिरीनगर) , is the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India, and is situated in the valley of Kashmir. ... , Delhi (Hindi: , Urdu: , Punjabi: ), sometimes referred to as Dilli, is the second-largest metropolis in India after Mumbai with a population of 13 million. ... Michael Flynn, (born 1947), sometimes published as Michael F. Flynn, worked full time as a statistician and wrote science fiction as a sideline for several years. ...

Comparison to other early computers

If the Analytical Engine had been built, it would have been in many ways more advanced than some of the first computers that emerged in the 1940s. It would have been digital, programmable and Turing complete. However, it would have been very slow. Ada Lovelace reported in her notes on the Analytical engine: "Mr. Babbage believes he can, by his engine, form the product of two numbers, each containing twenty figures, in three minutes". By comparison the Harvard Mark I could perform the same task in just six seconds. A modern PC can do the same thing in well under a billionth of a second. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A digital system is one that uses discrete values (often electrical voltages), especially those representable as binary numbers, or non-numeric symbols such as letters or icons, for input, processing, transmission, storage, or display, rather than a continuous spectrum of values (ie, as in an analog system). ... A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ... In computability theory, an abstract machine or programming language is called Turing complete, Turing equivalent, or (computationally) universal if it has a computational power equivalent to a universal Turing machine (a simplified model of a programmable computer). ... Ada Lovelace Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (December 10, 1815 – November 27, 1852), born Augusta Ada Byron, is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbages early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. ... Portion of the Harvard-IBM Mark 1, left side. ...

Defining characteristics of five first operative digital computers
Computer Shown working Binary Electronic Programmable Turing complete
Zuse Z3 May 1941 Yes No By punched film stock Yes (1998)
Atanasoff-Berry Computer Summer 1941 Yes Yes No No
Colossus December 1943 / January 1944 Yes Yes Partially, by rewiring No
Harvard Mark I - IBM ASCC 1944 No No By punched paper tape Yes (1998)
ENIAC 1944 No Yes Partially, by rewiring Yes
1948 No Yes By Function Table ROM Yes

The binary numeral system, or base-2 number system, is a numeral system that represents numeric values using two symbols, usually 0 and 1. ... Electronics is the study of the flow of charge through various materials and devices such as, semiconductors, resistors, inductors, capacitors, nano-structures, and vacuum tubes. ... A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ... In computability theory, an abstract machine or programming language is called Turing complete, Turing equivalent, or (computationally) universal if it has a computational power equivalent to a universal Turing machine (a simplified model of a programmable computer). ... Konrad Zuse (1992) Statue in Bad Hersfeld Konrad Zuse (June 22, 1910 – December 18, 1995) was a German engineer and computer pioneer. ... Konrad Zuses Z3 was the first working programmable, fully automatic machine, whose attributes, with the addition of conditional branching, have often been the ones used as criteria in defining a computer. ... Film stock is the term for photographic film on which films are recorded. ... Konrad Zuses Z3 was the first working programmable, fully automatic machine, whose attributes, with the addition of conditional branching, have often been the ones used as criteria in defining a computer. ... Atanasoff-Berry Computer replica at 1st floor of Durham Center, Iowa State University The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) was one of the first electronic digital computing device. ... A Colossus Mark II computer. ... Portion of the Harvard-IBM Mark 1, left side. ... Konrad Zuses Z3 was the first working programmable, fully automatic machine, whose attributes, with the addition of conditional branching, have often been the ones used as criteria in defining a computer. ... ENIAC ENIAC, short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer,[1] was the first large-scale, electronic, digital computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems,[2] although earlier computers had been built with some of these properties. ... Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ...

References

  1. ^ Disagreeable Babbage
  2. ^ Babbage’s Analytical Engine: The First True Digital Computer
  3. ^ Calculating Engines - The Babbage Pages
  4. ^ a b c Difference Engines - Tim Robinson's Meccano Computing Machinery web site
  5. ^ a b The Analytical engine By Major-General H. P. Babbage - From the Proceedings of the British Association, 1888; Paper read at Bath, September 12, 1888
  6. ^ In the Beginning - The Old Computer Hut
  7. ^ Babbage and Aiken - IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 10 , Issue 3 (July 1988)

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Analytical engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (895 words)
The analytical engine, an important step in the history of computers, is the design of a mechanical modern general-purpose computer by the British professor of mathematics Charles Babbage.
The analytical engine was to be powered by a steam engine and would have been over 30 meters long and 10 meters wide.
Closely related to Babbage's work on the analytical engine was the work of George Stibitz of Bell Laboratories in New York just prior to WWII and Howard Hathaway Aiken at Harvard, during and just after WWII.
Ada Byron's notes on the analytical engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (496 words)
Luigi Menabrea, a young Italian engineer wrote up Babbage's lecture in French, and this transcript was subsequently published in the Bibliothèque Universelle de Genève in 1842.
It is generally considered the first algorithm ever specifically tailored for implementation on a computer, and for this reason she is considered by many to be the first computer programmer.
Sketch of The Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage by L. Menabrea with notes upon the Memoir by the translator Ada Augusta, Countess of Lovelace
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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