Manchester University Differential Analyser

1935 in Manchester
Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company Limited

Pallet 1 of 12 - Part of Manchester University Differential Analyser, consisting of 16 feet central frame, 4 integrators, 2 input tables, output table, camera.

The Manchester Differential Analyser is an analogue computer designed to solve a class of mathematical functions called differential equations. This machine was built by the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company and completed in 1935 for the Physics Department at Manchester University. The machine was based on an American design, powered by electric motors, and uses mechanical components to model mathematical relationships. The central device is a disc-and-wheel device integrator which performs mathematical integration.

This machine—known as a differential analyser—was built in 1935 to help Manchester

University physicists solve problems in a variety of fields ranging from power transmission to bomb production.

During the Second World War, this machine was put to use in military research. One secret project involved calculating the mathematics of uranium enrichment, vital in manufacturing the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.


Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), iron, steel (metal) and wood (unidentified)
differential analyser
University of Manchester