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Albert Michelson's Harmonic Analyzer Hardcover – 2014
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Albert Michelson’s Harmonic Analyzer celebrates a nineteenth century mechanical calculator that performed Fourier analysis by using gears, springs and levers to calculate with sines and cosines—an astonishing feat in an age before electronic computers. One hundred and fifty color photos reveal the analyzer’s beauty though full-page spreads, lush close-ups of its components, and archival photos of other Michelson-inspired analyzers. The book includes sample output from the machine and a reproduction of an 1898 journal article by Michelson, which first detailed the analyzer. The book is the official companion volume to the popular YouTube video series created by the authors.
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This book does a amazing job of walking us through the process of computation of complex sinusoidal functions. The (BEAUTIFUL) pictures illustrate the complexity inherent in the calculation, as well as the elegance of the design of the invention. The inclusion of the original historical manuscript for the machine is very appropriate as it adds context to the invention.
Kudos to the author for not giving us a dry analysis of what FT (Fourier transform) is, or the complex mathematics behind it. It leaves the book accessible.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who even has a passing interest in machines, mathematics, or historical pieces.