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Achille Brocot (1817–1878) was a French clockmaker[1] and amateur mathematician.[2] He is known for his discovery (independently of and contemporaneously with German number theorist Moritz Stern) of the Stern–Brocot tree, a mathematical structure useful in approximating real numbers by rational numbers; this sort of approximation is an important part of the design of gear ratios for clocks.[3] He also made many other horological innovations including refinement of his father Louis-Gabriel's Brocot escapement and the development of clocks with perpetual calendar mechanisms.[4][5]


  1. ^ Player, J. W., ed., Britten's Watch & Clock Makers' Handbook Dictionary & Guide (15th ed.), Taylor & Francis, p. 380  .
  2. ^ Mansuy, Roger (French), Achille Brocot, mathématicien à ses heures, CultureMath,  .
  3. ^ Hayes, Brian (2008), "On the Teeth of Wheels", Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions, Hill and Wang,  .
  4. ^ Kirk, John G., The Brocots: A Dynasty of Horologers,  . Powerpoint presentation based on Chavigny (1991).
  5. ^ Chavigny, Richard (1991) (French), Les Brocot: une dynastie d'horlogers, Antoine Simonin, ISBN 9782881750038  .


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