Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (DSM)
Tides


Through their horizontal (i.e. tidal current) and vertical (i.e. changing water levels between high and low tide) components, tides exert a significant influence on sea and coastal shipping. Hence, already in the Middle Ages one tried to make accurate forecasts, but these tended to be approximations in view of the fact that Isaac Newton only formulated his law of gravitation in 1687 and due to the lack of scientific research of this phenomenon on an empirical basis. Significant breakthroughs only occurred in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century.
 
The first tidal calculation machine, built 1915/16 following specifications given by H. Rauschelbach in Potsdam. This fully-mechanised machine took into account 20 so-called partial tides and required only 10-15 hours to deliver the annual values of a harbour. Its construction is closely connected with the special requirements of marine navigation during the first world war.

 The history of the arduous beginnings of tidal research until the highly-technical research today is shown, as far as the German parts are concerned, in the recently opened exhibition areas of the German Maritime Museum.

English Guide "Tides"(German Online-Version)


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