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Physicist Joseph Plateau's 218th Birthday: Google Doodle To Honour His Life And Works

Google on Monday celebrated and honoured Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau, a Belgian Physicist who for the first time demonstrated the idea of the moving image. Born on 14 October 1801, today is the 218th birth anniversary of Joseph Plateau. He is known for his invention of 'Phenakistoscope', a device that showed the illusion of moving images. The device had two counter-rotating discs. Google's Doodle is the pictorial representation of Plateau's discs. The animated discs reflect the style of Plateau's device that had different moving images on different device platforms.

"Inspired by the mesmerizing animated discs, the animated Doodle art was made to reflect Plateau's style, with different imagery and themes in them on different device platforms," read the description of Google's Doodle.

Also read: Kamini Roy's 155th Birthday: Google Pays Tribute To The Indian Poet, Feminist And Activist

Joseph Plateau was the son of an artist who admired and was quite specialised in painting flowers. At the tender age of six, little Joseph was able to read and was quite interested in the study.

Joseph was quite fascinated by the formation of images on the retina. By understanding the colour, intensity and duration taken to form an image on the retina, Joseph invented the device known as 'Phenakistiscope' in 1832, which led to the birth of cinema.

One of the discs in the device was filled with equidistant spaces forming windows for allowing the viewers to see through it. While the other disc had a sequence of images that were drawn in a way to reflect the increment of motion. When both the discs were rotated together at equal speed, the images seemed to merge with one another due to the synchronisation of windows and the images. This in return, created the illusion of images moving or as if a dancer was in motion. This animated projection of images eventually led to the birth of cinema.

The physicist is also known to have studied the effects of different colours on the retina. This was followed by the mathematical research on the intersections of revolving curves, on the moving images, capillary action and surface tension.

It is said that he lost his eyesight later in his life but this didn't shake his determination to work in the field of science and perform various experiments. He also served as the professor of experimental physics at the Ghent University.

We too pay our tribute Joseph Plateau for his amazing contribution in the field of science that gave birth to the cinema.

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