This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
Svein Rosseland and the Oslo Analyzer
Winter 1996 (vol. 18 no. 4)
pp. 16-26

At one time the world's largest mechanical differential analyzer was located at Blindern, Norway, at Oslo University's Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics. It was built by a Norwegian instrument firm, borrowing much of its details from the famous MIT design by Vannevar Bush. For a few years this mechanical analytical tool ranked as the world's foremost differential equation solver. The Oslo analyzer was technically advanced, highly accurate, and, surprisingly, it was the most accessible large computational resource available to theoretical physicists in the world. Its success was primarily due to Professor Svein Rosseland. He was a bright, young astrophysicist who had impressed his fellow physicists around the world with his talents and imaginative thoughts.

1. V. Bush, "The Differential Analyzer. A New Machine for Solving Differential Equations," J. Franklin Institute, vol. 212, pp. 447-488, Oct. 1931.
2. S. Rosseland, Astrophysik auf Atomteoretische Grundlage (Astrophysics on the Basis of Atom Theory).Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1930 (in German).
3. K. Aksnes, "Personal Recollections in Telephone Interview," Oslo, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, 1993.
4. G. Randers, "Rosseland, Svein," Oslo, Norwegian Biographical Lexicon, vol. 12, pp. 1-2 (in Norwegian), 1946.
5. G. Randers, "Svein Rosseland 50År (Svein Rosseland 50 Years)," Norsk Populær-Astronomisk Tidsskrift, vol. 3, pp. 33-35, 1945 (in Norwegian).
6. E. Jensen, "Minnetale over Professor Svein Rosseland (Eulogy over Professor Svein Rosseland)," Norwegian Science Academy, p. 212, Yearbook, 1985.
7. S. Rosseland, "The Principles of Quantum Theory," Handbuch der Astrophysik, Band 7, Ergänzungsband, pp. 243-249, 1936.
8. L. Owens, "Vannevar Bush and the Differential Analyzer: The Text and Context of an Early Computer," Technology and Culture, vol. 27, pp. 63-95, 1986.
9. G. Randers and M. Schwarzschild, "Professor Svein Rosseland," Astrophysics Norvegica, vol. 9, pp. 7-9, 1964.
10. E. Jensen, "Differensialanalysatoren ved Astrofysisk Institutt (The Differential Analyzer at the Institute of Astrophysics)," Blindern, Norway, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskaplige Forskningsråd, Committee on Mathematical Machines, Report No. 3, 37 pp., 1951 (in Norwegian).
11. E. Jensen, "Personal Recollections in Interview," Oslo, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, 1993
12. H.M. Miller, "Memorandum re the Astrophysics Institute in Oslo, Jan. 12, 1937,"North Tarrytown, N.Y., Rockefeller Archive Center, Group 1, 1, Series 767, Box 2, Folder 22, 1940.
13. H.W. Nieman, "Power Transmission Mechanism," Official Gazette, U.S. Patent Office, Patent No. 1,751,645, assigned to the Bethlehem Steel Company, 1930.
14. H.W. Nieman, "Servo Mechanism," Official Gazette, U.S. Patent Office, Patent No. 1,751,647, assigned to the Bethlehem Steel Company, 1930.
15. S. Rosseland, "Om Differensialanalysatoren (On the Differential Analyzer)," Norsk Matematisk Tidsskrift, vol. 19, pp. 134-138, 1938 (in Norwegian).
16. M. Schwarzschild, "Zur Pulsationstheorie (On the Pulsation Theory)," Zeitschrift für Astrofysik, vol. 15, pp. 14-31, 1938 (in German).
17. O. Amble, "On a Principle of Connexion of Bush Integrators," J. Scientific Instruments, vol. 23, pp. 284-287, 1946.
18. P. Ledoux, "La MachineàIntégrer de l'Institut d'Astrophysique Théorique de l'Universitéd'Oslo, Norvège (The Integration Machine at the Astrophysics Institute of the University of Oslo, Norway)," Ciel et Terre, vol. 55, pp. 393-401, 1939 (in French).
19. S. Rosseland, "Letter to Dr. Warren Weaver,"North Tarrytown, N.Y., Rockefeller Archive Center, Group 1, 1, Series 767, Box 2, Folder 22, 1940.
20. S. Rosseland, "Mechanische Integration von Differentialgleichungen (Mechanical Integration of Differential Equations)," Naturwissenschaften, vol. 27, pp. 729-735, 1939 (in German).
21. A. Walther, "Neuzeitliche Mathematische Machinen (Modern Mathematical Machines)," Elektrotechnische Zeitschrift, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 33-36, 1940 (in German).
22. A. Walther, "Besichtigung einer in Oslo befindlichen Maschine zur Auflösung von Differentialgleichungen (Report on the Inspection of a Machine for Solving Differential Equations in(Oslo)," Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, Archive IPM 18/3, 1940.
23. W. de Beauclair, "Alwin Walther, IPM, and the Development of Calculator/Computer Technology in Germany, 1930-1945," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 8, pp. 334-350, 1986.
24. L. Strand, "Personal Recollections," Ås, telephone interview, 1992.
25. B. Holmberg, "On the Scattering of Fast Neutrons by Non-Central Interaction," R. Fysiographic Society Lund, vol. 18, 1939, pp. 23-32, 1939.
26. P. Pedersen, "Stabilitätsuntersuchungen im Restringierten Vierkörperproblem (Investigation of Stability in the Restricted Four-Body Problem)," Royal Danish Soc. Publications, Mathematics and Physics, vol. 26, no. 16, 1952 (in German).
27. Ø. Elgarøy and Ø. Hauge, "Svein Rosseland. Fra hans liv og virke (Svein Rosseland. From his life and work)," Oslo, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, Univ. of Oslo, 1994.
28. R.W. Munro, "Sir William Thomson's Harmonic Analyser," Engineering, vol. 30, p. 561, Dec.17, 1880.
29. Sir W. Thomson (Lord Kelvin), "The Tide Gauge, Tidal Harmonic Analyser, and Tide Predicter," Proc. Inst. Civil Eng., vol. 65, pp. 2-25, 1881.

Per A. Holst, "Svein Rosseland and the Oslo Analyzer," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 16-26, Winter 1996, doi:10.1109/85.539912
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.