Report on the Integrations of the Ballistic Equations on the Aberdeen Analyzer. W. Feller, C. E. Shannon, Claude Elwood.
Report on the Integrations of the Ballistic Equations on the Aberdeen Analyzer
Report on the Integrations of the Ballistic Equations on the Aberdeen Analyzer

Report on the Integrations of the Ballistic Equations on the Aberdeen Analyzer

Providence, R.I. and N. Y. Brown University and Bell Telephone Laboratories May 27, 1943. [1], 2-8 leaves. 11 x 8 1/2 inches. Typescript carbon. Paperclip impression upper left. The carbon has over a dozen diagrams, integral signs, and equations added by an unknown hand (mostly items challenging to render on a standard typewriter). Very Good. [28658]


Feller and Shannon sent this report to "NDRC, Section D-2, Dr. Warren Weaver, Chief". The paper was eventually issued as "AMP REPORT NO. 28.1" by the Applied Mathematics Panel of the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) as a RESTRICTED document with "Report" removed from the title.

Weaver requested this report to make "an examination of the procedure of mechanical integration of the differential equations of ballistics as used at present...on the differential analyzer." The differential analyzer at Aberdeen did wartime ballistics work and was an example of Vannevar Bush's differential analyzer. Shannon worked on Bush’s differential analyzer extensively while at MIT. Speed, and more so accuracy, was of the utmost importance in its calculations. The first paragraph explicitly notes that the purpose of the report is NOT to try to study technical improvements but "is concerned only with an examination of the procedure of mechanical integration of the differential equations of ballistics as used at present."

The recommendations are related to mechanical improvements to the mechanism that would reduce errors and improve accuracy. The authors helpfully note areas where they have full confidence in the overall design to "render superflous similar investigations by other persons."

NOTE: We have included a modern xerox copy of the RESTRICTED paper uncovered by Sloane and Wyner (unfortunately not always readable) for comparison. The RESTRICTED paper also includes an extra appendix page not present in the typescript carbon that offers a simplified method of determining gear ratios.

PROVENANCE: The personal files of Claude E. Shannon (unmarked). The only example in Shannon's files.

REFERENCES:
Sloane and Wyner, "Claude Elwood Shannon Collected Papers," #16

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