Cam-based Mathematics

Published by patrick honner on

This is an awesome old-school style video demonstrating how simple cam-based mechanical systems can be implemented to process numbers.

Calculating reciprocals, squares, and tangents using rotating disks:  it’s amazing stuff!  I wish I had seen (and appreciated) something like this as a young student.  It might have made me appreciate engineering a little more.

Be sure to check out the barrel cam at the end that is used to compute gun elevation.  I imagine something like this is at the heart of the mechanical calculators out there.

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


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