Analogue mathematical instruments: Examples from the “theoretical dynamics” group (France, 1948–1964)
Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach
Throughout the history of dynamical systems, instruments have been used to calculate and visualize (approximate) solutions of differential equations. Here we describe the approach of a group of physicists and engineers in the period 1948–1964, and we give ex- amples of the specific (analogue) mathematical in- struments they conceived and used. These examples also illustrate how their analogue culture and practices faced the advent of the digital computer, which appeared at that time as a new instrument, full of promises.
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