Google celebrates 218th birth anniversary of physicist Joseph Plateau with a special doodle

Google doodle honours Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau on 218th birth anniversary

Highlights

Joseph Plateau invented the phenakistiscope, a device that led to the onset of cinema by creating the illusion of moving images.
Plateau was born in 1801 in Brussels to an artist who specialised in painting flowers.
Plateau lost his vision later in life.
Google, on Monday, 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.

The doodle is inspired by animated discs reflecting Plateau's style with different images and themes on various device platforms.

Plateau was born in 1801 in Brussels to an artist who specialised in painting flowers. He studied law and later became one of the most-popular Belgian scientists of the nineteenth century. 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. His doctoral dissertation explained how images form on the retina, how long they last, their colour and intensity.


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

Google reveals that Plateau 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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