Charles Babbage

Here we listed out important facts about famous scientist Charles Babbage, with his Biography, Profile, Facts, Timeline, Awards, Achievement, etc.,

Born: 26 December 1791, London, United Kingdom
Died: 18 October 1871, Marylebone, United Kingdom
Children: Benjamin Herschel Babbage, Henry Prevost, more
Awards: Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
Parents: Betsy Plumleigh Teape, Benjamin Babbage
Nationality: English.
Fields: Mathematics, engineering, political economy, computer science
Known for: Mathematics, engineering, early computing

  • Charles Babbage was born on December 26, 1791 in Teingnmouth, Devonshire, UK, Died1871, London;
  • Known to some as the “Father of Computing” for his contributions to the basic design of the computer through his Analytical machine. His previous Difference Engine was a special purpose device intended for the production of tables.
  • While he did produce prototypes of portions of the Difference Engine, it was left to George and Edvard Schuetz to construct the first working devices to the same design which were successful in limited applications.
  • Other inventions – The cowcatcher, dynamometer, standard railroad gauge, uniform postal rates, occulating lights for lighthouses, Greenwich time signals, heliograph opthalmoscope.  He also had an interest in ciphers and lock-picking, but abhorred street musicians.
  • By the 1880’s Babbage was known primarily for his reform of mathematics at Cambridge.
  • In 1899 the magazine Temple Bar reported that “the present generation appears to have forgotten Babbage and his calculating machine”.
  • In 1908, after being preserved for 37 years in alcohol, Babbage’s brain dissected by Sir Victor Horsley of the Royal Society, Horsley had to remind the society that Babbage had been a “very profound thinker”.
  • As the inventor of the first universal digital computer,” he can indeed be considered a profound thinker.
  • The use of Jacquard punch cards, of chains and subassemblies, and ultimately the logical structure of the modern computer-all come from Babbage.
  • Babbage was an aesthete, but not a typical Victorian one. He found beauty in things in stamped buttons, stomach pumps, railways and tunnels, in man’s mastery over nature.
  • A social man, he was obliged to attend the theater. While others dozed at Mozart, Babbage grew restless.  “Somewhat fatigued with the opera [Don Juan]”, he writes in the autobiographical Passages From the Life of a Philosopher, “I went behind the scenes to look at the mechanism”.
  • In order to have something on which to shine his experimental lights, Babbage devised “Alethes and Iris”, a ballet in which 60 damsels in white were to dance.
  • Two fire engines stood ready for the “experiment of the dance”, as Babbage termed the rehearsal. Dancers “danced and attitudinized” while he shone colored lights on them.  But the theatre manager feared fire, and the ballet was never publicly staged.
  • He had considered becoming a cleric, but this was not an unusual choice for the affluent graduate with little interest in business or law.
  • In 1837 he published his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, to reconcile his scientific beliefs with Christian dogma. Babbage argued that miracles were not, as Hume write, violations of laws of nature, but could exist in a mechanistic world.  As Babbage could program long series on his calculating machines, God could program similar irregularities in nature.

Charles Babbage

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