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An Electrical Engineering View of a Mechanical Watch

05/08/2003 11:00 AM 10-250
Gerald Sussman, Matsushita Professor of Electrical Engineering, MIT

Description: A mechanical watch is an oscillator driven by energy stored in a mainspring. The oscillations are counted by a gear train and displayed on a conventional watch face. How are the oscillations sensed and how is the energy lost to friction replaced? In this lecture Professor Sussman explains this mechanism and relates it to an electrical circuit that is understandable in terms of material taught in MIT's elementary circuits subject.

At this lecture, a camera provides a close up of the inner workings of a watch. Professor Sussman who is also a life member of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute concludes," most good watchmakers spend a considerable amount of their time on their knees chasing down the parts they dropped."

About the Speaker(s): Professor Gerald Sussman is the Matsushita professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. He received the S.B. and the Ph.D. degrees from MIT in 1968 and 1973 respectively. He has been involved in artificial intelligence research since 1964. His research has centered on understanding the problem-solving strategies used by scientists and engineers, with the goals of automating parts of the process and formalizing it to provide more effective methods of science and engineering education. Sussman is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a bonded locksmith, a life member of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWI), a member of the Massachusetts Watchmakers-Clockmakers Association, a member of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston (ATMOB), and a member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

Host(s): School of Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Tape #: T16094

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haha

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

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