This is what happens when you divide by zero on a 1940s water computer

From Atomic Frontier.

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I went to Cambridge to revive a water computer that once modelled the British Economy.

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0:00 Introduction
0:19 Bill Phillips
1:17 How does it work?
5:38 What can it do?
8:34 Outroduction

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Hi, I’m James. I explore the world looking for interesting engineering stories which explore complex issues in interesting ways. I hold a First-Class Honors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Western Australia and am currently studying a Masters of Space Systems Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My thesis will be ready when its ready™.

My website is, I occasionally tweet from, and you can join the Atomic Frontier Discord server to talk about cool engineering stuff at You can help support my work and see some cool behind-the-scenes content at