An anemometer is any tool used to measure the speed of wind in the discipline of meteorology. Leon Battista Alberti created the first mechanical anemometer in 1450. It hasn't altered much since then, despite the fact that several later anemometer innovations were wrongly claimed as the first. The anemometer measures the speed of wind, which can be useful for predicting weather conditions and locating resources such as oil and gas deposits.
The term "anemometer" comes from the Greek anemos (wind) + metron (measurement). Meteorologists use anemometers to measure wind speed. Although ancient people may have been able to estimate wind speed using other methods such as observing how high waves are or counting how many times something flutters in the wind, they did not keep track of these estimates over time. Thus, they could not accurately predict future conditions based on past events. However, since the invention of the anemometer, scientists have been able to measure wind speed repeatedly and thus understand its relationship to weather phenomena such as storms and windswept areas. Anemometers can also help locate natural resources such as oil and gas deposits by measuring how fast-moving water flows near their surface.
People have been making anemometers since at least 1450 when Italian polymath Leon Battista Alberti published a book describing two inventions: an armillary sphere and a wind meter.
Much later, in 1664, Englishman Robert Hooke built a comparable device and is frequently mistakenly attributed with inventing the anemometer. In 1708, German scholar Christian Wolff, often known as Wolfius, devised the mechanical anemometer, which could measure wind force. He based this on ideas proposed by Newton several years earlier.
Hooke's anemometer was the first machine capable of measuring the rate at which air moves across fixed surfaces separated by water or land. It consisted of two arms attached to a vertical shaft, with buckets at the ends. As the wind blew over one bucket it would turn the wheel at the other end of the arm. This would rotate a clockwork mechanism that would register on a scale how much time had elapsed since the beginning of testing. This was different from modern anemometers which use electromechanical sensors; before these were developed the hopper-and-wheel system was the only way to measure wind speed accurately over long distances.
Wolfius' anemometer used levers to measure wind speed; it was similar to modern devices in many ways but it lacked any kind of power source so it could not measure wind velocity or direction. It was also bulky and expensive to manufacture.
The modern anemometer was invented by Thomas Edison. He filed a patent for it in 1872 but it wasn't until years later that it went into production.
History. Since its invention in the 15th century, the anemometer has evolved little. Around 1450, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) is supposed to have constructed the first mechanical anemometer. It was a fan-shaped piece of paper with holes at the tip that turned when the wind blew over it.
Nowadays, anemometers are used in meteorology to measure the speed and direction of the wind. They are also used to estimate the power of winds through empirical laws. The anemometer has many applications in engineering too; for example, pilots use anemometers on aircraft to determine whether a wing is flying against the wind or with the wind. Anemometers can also be found in houses as indicators of wind speed and direction for controlling windows and doors.
The anemometer has been used in astronomy too. In 1877, Edward Emerson Barnard showed that the wind was responsible for moving stars across the sky in curves known as "proper motions." By measuring the rate at which these curves overlap, astronomers can calculate how fast the stars are moving away from us. This leads them to conclude that our galaxy is blowing away from itself at a tremendous speed: about 1 million miles per hour.
Finally, the anemometer has been used in physics as well.
Alberti, Leon Battista Leon Battista Alberti created the first anemometer, although it was a crude design that was changed by John Thomas Romney Robinson. Alberti, an Italian artist and architect, invented a perpendicular disc that would incline as the wind moved around the end of the 15th century. This disc could be used to measure the speed of the wind.
Robinson, a British mathematician, engineer, and inventor, improved on this design in the 18th century by adding pins that would point in different directions depending on which way the wind was blowing. His design became the standard for all modern anemometers.
People have been making instruments to measure the wind for hundreds of years but these early designs were not accurate enough to use for weather forecasting. It wasn't until the 20th century that more sophisticated devices came onto the market. Today's anemometers are very precise tools used for research studies into wind energy and climate change.
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An anemometer is a device used to measure airflow speed in the atmosphere, wind tunnels, and other gas-flow applications. The revolving-cup electric anemometer, in which the rotating cups drive an electric generator, is the most often used equipment for measuring wind speed. The anemometer can also be a simple flat plate with holes to let air through.
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