Analog computers work on a completely different principle than digital computers. Analog computers are characterized by the fact that they form models, so-called analogons, with which the tasks are solved.
Analog computers work with non-linear characteristics of electronic components, with integrators and differentiators in combination with operational amplifiers. The functions for the arithmetic operations are generated by electronic components with linear and nonlinear characteristics, for example by resistors, diodes or transistors. For this purpose, curve functions were generated from parts of the linear and non-linear characteristic curves, which correspond to an E-function, for example. The electronic signals with which analog computers work can be linked, summed, integrated or differentiated. The mathematical functions can be changed by parameterization using potentiometers or by special wiring.
Analog computers were used in the 1960s for scientific work, mainly when analog signals with curve functions - integrals, differentials - had to be calculated. Other areas of application are control and regulation technology.