Welcome to the Arithmeum
Here, in the Arithmeum, we would like you to experience mathematics as something beautiful, something that can even be fun!
Whether you have come alone, or with your family, or to join others in a booked tour or one of the public tours at weekends – a visit to the Arithmeum is not only instructive but also stimulating and exciting. You will enjoy a creative interaction with mathematical problems which remain relevant today: how can one calculate quickly, comfortably and, above all, error-free?
These questions have occupied great mathematicians for centuries. The distinction between “calculating” and “mathematics” took place more recently. In earlier days, both of these disciplines received the same attention, interest and curiosity from mathematicians. The reason was that the error-free solution of calculations was a very real and highly nontrivial problem.
With the invention of reliable, fast and also affordable calculators, interest in the art of calculating dwindled. Particularly in this field, however, it was unfortunate that history was being neglected. The history of mechanical calculating machines includes so many fascinating and innovative ideas and at the same time demonstrates how the human capability to think abstractly has increased more and more over the centuries.
The magnificent gilded mechanical calculating machines of the 17th and 18th centuries with their ornamental exterior and intricate interior impress one deeply today, even without knowing what they comprise scientifically. Up to the middle of the 19th century each machine was unique: an invention for which there was no scientific or commercial need.
We hope that you will enjoy inspecting our website and that you will be motivated to visit the Arithmeum in Bonn personally. Viewing the exhibits from all directions and angles is still a most impressive experience! In this sense we will be happy to welcome you in Bonn.
Your Arithmeum team