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Charles Babbage’s Analytical engine. By Nicholas Lucaroni. Difference Engine. Uses the differences method to tabulate polynomials. Construction wasn’t completed: Internal Friction and Gearing were not accurate enough. Kept changing his mind on the design. Analytical Engine.

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Charles babbage s analytical engine

Charles Babbage’sAnalytical engine

By Nicholas Lucaroni


Difference engine
Difference Engine

  • Uses the differences method to tabulate polynomials.

  • Construction wasn’t completed:

    • Internal Friction and Gearing were not accurate enough.

    • Kept changing his mind on the design.


Analytical engine
Analytical Engine

  • First attempt at a digital computer, at 1834.

  • Programmable, could solve more then just polynomials.

  • Had a store and a mill which would represent memory and processor today.

  • Input and output was controlled through punch cards.

  • Ran off a steam engine.


The mill and store
The Mill and Store

  • The store could hold 1000 50 digit numbers.

  • The Mill could perform any basic operation (addition, subtraction…).

  • and used “normal” base 10 arithmetic.


Input output
Input / Output

  • Input and output was on punch cards, similar to the ones used in looms at that time.

  • Output also had a printer, curve plotter, and a bell.

  • A separate


Three types of punch cards
Three Types of Punch Cards

  • Operation Cards

    • Perform Arithmetic operations

    • Combinatorial cards

      • Advance/back cards (perform loops and jumps)

  • Number Cards

    • Numerical constants, usually punched by the machine for later use.

  • Variable Cards

    • Direct transfer of values to serve as arguments for operations.


The end results
The end results…

  • Never built due to technology limitations with the precision of gears, cogs and wheels.

  • Also limited by funding, due to the scrap of his difference engine project before.


Other resources
Other resources

  • Original texts can be found at:

    • http://www.fourmilab.ch/babbage/contents.html

  • Emulator of analytical engine in Java:

    • http://www.fourmilab.ch/babbage/websim/ae.html


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