Analog computer  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An analog computer is a form of computer that uses the continuously changeable aspects of physical phenomena such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities to model the problem being solved. In contrast, digital computers represent varying quantities symbolically, as their numerical values change.

Mechanical analog computers were very important in gun fire control in World War II, The Korean War and well past the Vietnam War; they were made in significant numbers. The development of transistors made electronic analog computers practical, and until digital computers had developed sufficiently, they continued to be commonly used in science and industry.

Analog computers can have a very wide range of complexity. Slide rules and nomographs are the simplest, while naval gunfire control computers and large hybrid digital/analog computers were among the most complicated.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Analog computer" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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