Joseph Plateau | Google celebrates 218th birth anniversary

Google celebrates 218th birth anniversary of physicist Joseph Plateau

šŸ”² Google honoured Belgian physicist Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau with a special doodle. The tech giant celebrated the 218th birth anniversary of the physicist who invented the phenakistiscope, a device that led to the onset of cinema by creating the illusion of moving images.


šŸ”² Joseph Plateau was born in 1801 in Brussels to an artist who specialised in painting flowers.

šŸ”² He studied law and later became one of the most-popular Belgian scientists of the nineteenth century.

šŸ”² Till date he is remembered for his work on physiological optics, particularly for the study on the effects of light and colour on human retina.

šŸ”² His doctoral dissertation explained how images form on the retina, how long they last, their colour and intensity.

šŸ”² Based on the conclusions of his study, Plateau created a stroboscopic device in 1832 with two discs fitted in opposite directions.

šŸ”² One of the discs was filled with small windows spaced evenly in a circle. The other disc had a series of pictures of a dancer. When the two discs moved at the right speed, the images appeared to merge, and created the illusion of a dancer in motion.

šŸ”² He lost his vision later in life. However, it did not stop him from having a productive career in science. He continued to work as a professor of experimental physics at Ghent University with the help of his son and son-in-law, who were also his colleagues.

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