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The differential analyser is a mechanical analogue computer designed to solve differential equations by integration, using wheel-and-disc mechanisms to perform the integration. It was one of the first advanced computing devices to be used operationally.The original machines could not add, but then it was noticed that if the two wheels of a rear differential are turned, the drive shaft will compute the average of the left and right wheels. A simple gear ratio of 1:2 then enables multiplication by two, so addition (and subtraction) are achieved. Multiplication is just a special case of integration, namely integrating a constant function.

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  • The differential analyser is a mechanical analogue computer designed to solve differential equations by integration, using wheel-and-disc mechanisms to perform the integration. It was one of the first advanced computing devices to be used operationally.The original machines could not add, but then it was noticed that if the two wheels of a rear differential are turned, the drive shaft will compute the average of the left and right wheels. A simple gear ratio of 1:2 then enables multiplication by two, so addition (and subtraction) are achieved. Multiplication is just a special case of integration, namely integrating a constant function.
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  • Differential analyser
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  • The differential analyser is a mechanical analogue computer designed to solve differential equations by integration, using wheel-and-disc mechanisms to perform the integration. It was one of the first advanced computing devices to be used operationally.The original machines could not add, but then it was noticed that if the two wheels of a rear differential are turned, the drive shaft will compute the average of the left and right wheels. A simple gear ratio of 1:2 then enables multiplication by two, so addition (and subtraction) are achieved. Multiplication is just a special case of integration, namely integrating a constant function.
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