Join Ada and friends at the Oxford Maths Festival event at Templars Square for mathematical fun, activities and problem-solving from ingenious geometry to mesmerizing mechanical calculators.
Lectures & talks
From Astrolabes to Alethiometers – Instruments on TV - Thursday 30 January, 6pm
From Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, powerful devices have played dramatic roles in incredibly popular stories. Drs Ackermann and Johnston give an intriguing insight into the real objects behind the stories.
Object of the month
Founding benefactor's choice
The ivory diptych dial was the quintessential Renaissance gadget. To call it a sundial is to underplay its ambition and ingenuity – it was the sixteenth-century equivalent of a smartphone with a multitude of apps.
With a compass to orient the instrument correctly, the device opened up to reveal multiple sundials of different types, telling the time in different hour systems and for use in different places.
How it works
These short films bring to life a selection of working scientific instruments from the Museum's collection. All are on permanent display, but for conservation reasons would not normally be handled or demonstrated in public.