FRANCES EVELEGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCES EVELEGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Babbage's Method of Differences. Photograph illustrating the Method of Differences on which Charles Babbage (1792-1871) based his mechanical computer. The image includes several pages from Babbage's notebooks and a representation of the Method of Differences, all on a background of a modern microchip circuit. Babbage's first design, the Difference Engine, was intended to calculate logarithms. His second design, the Analytical Engine, was for more complex calculations and had many features seen in modern computers - such as punched card data input. A working example of the Second Difference Engine was completed by London's Science Museum in 1991.
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