Thank you all for your input!
I should have done a "Top 20 most complex machines ever built" thread then...
As lots of you suggest new entries in the list, I've put four new "complex machines" in it....
12- The Antikythera Mechanism
Definitely an incredible achievement considering that it was built between 150 and 100B.C.!
The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900–1901 from the
Antikythera wreck. Its significance and complexity were not understood until decades later. Its time of construction is now estimated between 150 and
100 BC. The degree of mechanical sophistication is comparable to a 19th century Swiss clock. Technological artifacts of similar complexity and
workmanship did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks were built in Europe.[...]
It has over 30 gears, although Michael Wright (see below) has suggested as many as 72 gears, with teeth formed through equilateral triangles.
It was capable of:
- Calculate the position of the Moon and the Sun
- Showing the Greek signs of the Zodiac
- Calculate the location of planets (Mars, Venus,
- Compensate for the effect of the extra quarter day in the solar year (there are 365.2422 days per year)
- Showing the first anomaly of the Moon's orbit
- Displaying the lunar phases
- Showing the rising and setting of specific stars
- Displaying the 235 months of the 19 year Metonic cycle
- Showing the Saros cycle as weel as the 54 year "Triple Saros" cycle
- Displaying the 76 year Callippic cycle and calculating the timing of the Ancient Olympic Games
- Predicting solar eclipses
The main fragment
The 2007 reconstruction
11- The MRI Machine
An MRI machine uses a powerful magnetic field to align the magnetization of some atoms in the body, and radio frequency fields to systematically
alter the alignment of this magnetization. This causes the nuclei to produce a rotating magnetic field detectable by the scanner—and this
information is recorded to construct an image of the scanned area of the body. Strong magnetic field gradients cause nuclei at different locations to
rotate at different speeds. 3-D spatial information can be obtained by providing gradients in each direction.
MRI provides good contrast between the different soft tissues of the body, which make it especially useful in imaging the brain, muscles, the heart,
and cancers compared with other medical imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) or X-rays. Unlike CT scans or traditional X-rays, MRI uses
no ionizing radiation.
Full description here
Inside the MRI gantry is a complexity of magnets, coils, thermal sensors, heaters, and cooling apparatus. Much of the MRI electronics are located
in an equipment room adjacent to the shielded MRI chamber. Equipment includes AC power regulation, RF power supplies, gradient amplifiers, and a
cryogenic cooling unit.
Credits photos: Health-pictures
10- The Bugatti Veyron
The Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 is a mid-engined grand touring car. It is the most expensive modern car in the world at US$1,900,000. The Super Sport
version is the fastest road-legal car in the world, with a top speed of 431.07 km/h (267.85 mph). The original version has a top speed of 408.00 km/h
Engine short description:
The Veyron features a 16 cylinder engine , equivalent to two narrow-angle V8 engines mated in a W configuration. Each cylinder has four valves for
a total of sixty four, but the narrow staggered V8 configuration allows two overhead camshafts to drive two banks of cylinders so only four camshafts
are needed. The engine is fed by four bi-turbochargers and displaces 7,993 cubic centimetres (487.8 cu in), with a square 86 by 86 mm (3.4 by 3.4 in)
bore and stroke.
The transmission is a dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox computer-controlled automatic with seven gear ratios, with magnesium paddles behind the
steering wheel and a shift time of less than 150 milliseconds, built by Ricardo of England rather than Borg-Warner, who designed the six speed DSG
used in the mainstream Volkswagen Group marques. The Veyron can be driven in either semi- or fully-automatic mode. A replacement transmission for the
Veyron costs just over US$120,000. It also has permanent four wheel drive using the Haldex Traction system. It uses special Michelin PAX run flat
tires, designed specifically to accommodate the Veyron's top speed, which reportedly cost US$25,000 per set.
The tires can be removed from the rims only in France, a service which reportedly costs US$70,000. Curb weight is 2,034.8 kilograms (4,486 lb). This
gives the car a power to weight ratio, according to Volkswagen Group's 1,001 metric horsepower (736 kW; 987 bhp) figures, of 446.3 metric horsepower
(328 kW; 440 bhp) per ton.
The car's wheelbase is 2,710 mm (106.7 in). Overall length is 4,462 mm (175.7 in), width 1,998 mm (78.7 in) and height 1,204 mm (47.4 in).
A Veyron pictured with its hydraulic rear spoiler in the extended position
The Bugatti Veyron has a total of ten radiators....
Read the full article here
Such an incredible car worth at least five pictures....
See photos here
9- The B2 Stealth Bomber
The ‘flying wing’ shaped Stealth Bomber (nicknamed ‘Spirit’) is a unique aircraft that’s designed to make it as invisible as possible.
Its shape means there are very few leading edges for radar to reflect from, reducing its signature dramatically. This is further enhanced by the
composite materials from which the aircraft is constructed and the coatings on its surface. These are so successful that despite having a 172-foot
wingspan, the B-2’s radar signature is an astounding 0.1 square metres.
The B-2’s stealth capabilities, and aerodynamic shape, are further enhanced by the fact its engines are buried inside the wing. This means the
induction fans at the front of the engines are concealed while the engine exhaust is minimised. As a result, the B-2’s thermal signature is kept to
the bare minimum, making it harder for thermal sensors to detect the bomber as well as lowering the aircraft’s acoustic footprint.
Specifications (B-2A Block 30)
(Data from USAF Fact Sheet, Pace, Spick, Globalsecurity)
Length: 69 ft (21.0 m)
Wingspan: 172 ft (52.4 m)
Height: 17 ft (5.18 m)
Wing area: 5,140 ft² (478 m²)
Empty weight: 158,000 lb (71,700 kg)
Loaded weight: 336,500 lb (152,200 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 376,000 lb (170,600 kg)
Powerplant: 4 × General Electric F118-GE-100 non-afterburning turbofans, 17,300 lbf (77 kN) each
Fuel Capacity: 167,000 pounds (75,750 kilograms)
Maximum speed: Mach 0.95 (550 knots, 630 mph, 1,010 km/h) at 40,000 ft altitude / Mach 0.95 at sea level
Cruise speed: Mach 0.85 (487 knots, 560 mph, 900 km/h) at 40,000 ft altitude
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,100 km (6,900 mi))
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,200 m)
Wing loading: 67.3 lb/ft² (329 kg/m²)
2 internal bays for 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of ordnance.
80× 500 lb class bombs (Mk-82) mounted on Bomb Rack Assembly (BRA)
36× 750 lb CBU class bombs on BRA
16× 2000 lb class weapons (Mk-84, JDAM-84, JDAM-102) mounted on Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA)
16× B61 or B83 nuclear weapons on RLA
Sources for both photos and full article:
- How it works daily
8- The Hubble Telescope
While waiting for the James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) which is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope, to be launch in 2014,
this presentation will not be complete without the famous Hubble Telescope.
From the main site
, ane extract about the incredible precision and capabilities of
Hubble's mirrors are very smooth and have precisely shaped reflecting surfaces. They were ground (shaped by removing glass with abrasives) so that
their surfaces do not deviate from a perfect curve by more than 1/800,000ths of an inch. If Hubble's primary mirror were scaled up to the diameter of
the Earth, the biggest bump would be only six inches tall.
Shortly after Hubble's deployment in 1990, scientists found that the curve to which the primary mirror was ground was incorrect, causing "spherical
aberration." Fortunately, corrective optics were able to solve this problem.
Hubble's mirrors are made of ultra-low expansion glass and kept at a nearly constant room temperature (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) to avoid warping.
The reflecting surfaces are coated with a 3/1,000,000th-inch layer of pure aluminum and protected by a 1/1,000,000th-inch layer of magnesium fluoride.
The magnesium fluoride makes the mirrors more reflective of ultraviolet light.
Credits photos due to main Hubble site (see above) and RCNews
edit on 5-6-2011 by
elevenaugust because: (no reason given)