ISBN-10:
1848829477
ISBN-13:
9781848829473
Pub. Date:
07/07/2010
Publisher:
Springer London
Technology for Modelling: Electrical Analogies, Engineering Practice, and the Development of Analogue Computing / Edition 1

Technology for Modelling: Electrical Analogies, Engineering Practice, and the Development of Analogue Computing / Edition 1

by Charles Care

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848829473
Publisher: Springer London
Publication date: 07/07/2010
Series: History of Computing
Edition description: 2010
Pages: 203
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.36(d)

Table of Contents

Part I Modelling, Calculation and Analogy: The Themes of Analogue Computing

1 Introduction: Analogue Computers in the History of Computing 3

1.1 Analogue Computers: Another Class of Computing Technology 4

1.2 Analogue Computers: A Challenge to Define 7

1.3 Analogue Computing as Modelling Technology 10

1.4 Structure of This Book 13

1.4.1 Part I: Modelling, Calculation and Analogy: The Themes of Analogue Computing 13

1.4.2 Part II: Analogue Computing in Use: A Selection of Contexts 14

2 A Multi-Stranded Chronology of Analogue Computing 17

2.1 Two Meanings of Analogue: The Tension Between Analogy and Continuity 18

2.2 Towards a Chronology of Analogue Computing 20

2.3 First Thematic Time-Line-Mechanising the Calculus: The Story of Continuous Computing Technology 22

2.3.1 1814-1850: Towards the Mechanical Integrator: The Invention and Development of the Planimeter 22

2.3.2 1850-1876: Maxwell, Thomson and Kelvin: The Emergence of the Integrator as a Computing Component 26

2.3.3 1870-1900: The Age of the Continuous Calculating Machine 31

2.3.4 1880-1920: The Integrator Becomes an Embedded Component Initiating Associations Between Control and Calculation 33

2.3.5 1920-1946: The 'Heyday' of Analogue Computing? 35

2.4 Second Thematic Time-Line-From Analogy to Computation: the Development of Electrical Modelling 39

2.4.1 1845-1920: The Development of Analogy Methods 40

2.4.2 1920-1946: Pre-digital Analogue Modelling 42

2.5 Third Thematic Time-Line-Analogue Computing and the Entwining of Calculation and Modelling 47

2.5.1 1940: The Emergence of Analogue Computing as a Technical Label and Class of Machine 47

2.5.2 1945-1960: The Development and Stabilisation of Computer Technology 49

2.5.3 1950-1965: The Commercialisation of the Analogue Computer, and the Invention of Hybrid Computing 53

2.6 Conclusions 54

3 Modelling Technology and the History of Analogue Computing 57

3.1 Modelling: A Variety of Definitions and Associations 58

3.2 Modelling as a Meta-Narrative for the History of Computing 59

3.3 Support for Thinking of the Computer as a Modelling Medium 61

3.3.1 Theoretical Support for a Modelling Perspective 63

3.3.2 Historical Support for a Modelling Perspective 67

3.4 Analogue Computing as a Technology of Modelling 69

3.5 Conclusion 71

4 Origins of Analogue: Conceptual Association and Entanglement 73

4.1 The Establishment of 'Forward Analogy': Historical Influences from Electrical Theory 74

4.2 Modelling with Electricity: Early Use of a Reverse Analogy 76

4.2.1 Clifford Nickle and Vannevar Bush: Modelling with the Reverse Analogy 78

4.2.2 Establishing a Modelling Medium Based on the Reverse Analogy: The Work of Nickle and Doherty 78

4.2.3 Stabilising the Field: Bush's Classification Schemes and Their Enrolling Function 81

4.2.4 Positive Association with Computing and Computational Rhetoric 83

4.3 Formation of an Analogue User Culture 84

4.3.1 George Philbrick and Lightning Empiricism: An Exemplar of Analogue Culture 86

4.4 Simulation Culture and the Transition to Digital 89

4.4.1 Digital Languages for Simulating Analogue Computing 90

4.5 Dis-enrollment of Analogue Computing and the Redefinition of Analogue Culture 91

4.6 Conclusion 93

Part II Analogue Computing in Use: A Selection of Contexts

5 Analogue Computers in British Higher Education 97

5.1 Calculation, Modelling, or Control: Three Different Uses, Three Different Histories 101

5.2 Analogue Research at Manchester: Networks, Tanks, and Hybrid Computing 103

5.3 Analogue Research at Imperial College: Networks and Tanks as Engineering Tools 105

5.4 King's College London: Analogue Computing at 'Ultra-High Speed' 106

5.5 Analogue Computing at Birmingham 111

5.6 Analogue Computing at the University of Bath: An Example of a Technical College 115

5.7 The Flowers Report and the Funding of Analogue Computing 116

5.8 Conclusion 119

6 Analogue Computers and Oil Reservoir Modelling 123

6.1 Production Management and the Application of Analogue Computing 124

6.1.1 Modelling Hydraulic Pressures with Electricity: William A. Bruce and the Carter Analyser 125

6.1.2 Incorporating Repetitive Operation: The Reservoir Analysers Developed by the Sun Oil Company 127

6.2 The Story of the BP Analogue Computer 131

6.2.1 Outsourcing Development to EMI Electronics 133

6.3 The BP Analyser in Use 135

6.4 BP and the Analogue-Digital Debate 136

6.4.1 Analogue-Digital Issues at the Local Level 137

6.4.2 Analogue-Digital Issues at the Corporate Level 138

6.5 Conclusion 139

7 Analogue-Digital Decisions in British Aeronautical Research 141

7.1 Analogue Computing for Aeronautics 142

7.1.1 Soap Film Models as Analogue Computers 143

7.1.2 The Electrolytic Tank as a Table-Top Wind Tunnel 145

7.2 Aerodynamic Calculations, British Aircraft Designers and the ARC Computation Panel 147

7.2.1 Tanks Versus Networks 150

7.2.2 Deciding Between Analogue and Digital: The Case of Flutter 151

7.3 Thirty Year Persistence: The Shortcomings of Digitalisation 153

7.4 Conclusion 155

8 The Analogue Dishpan: Physical Modelling Versus Numerical Calculation in Meteorology 157

8.1 Computation and the History of Meteorology 158

8.2 Non-digital Approaches to Meteorology 160

8.3 Richardson's Forecast Factory and His Suggested Analogue Alternative 160

8.3.1 Richardson: Mathematician, Experimentalist, Quaker 163

8.3.2 Richardson's Rotating Fluid Experiment and the Tension Between Experiment and Mathematics 165

8.4 Dave Fultz and the Experimental Tradition of Meteorology 169

8.5 Conclusion 173

9 Conclusion 177

9.1 Three Principal Conclusions 178

9.1.1 Multiple Perspectives of Use Informing Multiple Historical Trajectories 179

9.1.2 Classifications and Social Associations in the Construction and Deconstruction of Analogue Culture 180

9.1.3 Analogue-Digital Debates Were Application Based not Technologically Based 181

9.2 Challenges for Future Scholarship in the History of Analogue Computing 182

9.3 Concluding Remarks 183

References 185

Index 207

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