The Eratosthenes model displays the shadows cast by two gnomons (sticks) at different locations on Earth. For one gnomon, Sun is directly overhead (as would be the case if the gnomon was on the Tropic of Cancer at the summer solstice). The other gnomon is due north of the first gnomon. The sizes of the gnomons are greatly exaggerated for visibility. This simulation can be used to help illustrate how Eratosthenes was able to measure the diameter of Earth using the shadows cast by two gnomons, one situated due north of the other, on a day when the southerly gnomon cast no shadow at all. The distance between the two gnomons (along Earth's surface) can be adjusted. The length of the shadow is given, and this length can be used to determine the angle between the gnomon lines and from that the circumference (and diameter, radius, etc) of Earth. Earth can be hidden to give a better view of the relevant geometry.
The Eratosthenes model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool. It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive. Double clicking the ejs_astronomy_Eratosthenes.jar file will run the program if Java is installed. EJS is a part of the Open Source Physics Project and is designed to make it easier to access, modify, and generate computer models.
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%0 Computer Program %A Timberlake, Todd %D January 2, 2010 %T Eratosthenes Model %7 1.0 %8 January 2, 2010 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9756&DocID=1449
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tilted by 23.5 degree to simulate topic of cancer color code the checkbox add distance = arc length drawing add text as hints add top Gnomon checkbox add shadow checkbox 22June 2012 add Google earth picture add assessment for learning input fields with feedback for Radius of Earth and Circumference of Earth
credits to Todd Timberlake! i didn't make this, just remixing to customize it to suit the Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes enjoy!