Charles Babbage

In the world of computing, Charles Babbage is one of the characters that stands out the most for his contributions in the development of programmable calculators and other inventions, among which the differential machine and the design of the analytical machine stand out .

Personal information

  • When was born?  12/26/1791
  • When he died?  10/18/1871
  • Nationality:  British
  • What is it famous for? For inventing the differential engine and designing the analytical engine

Who was Charles Babbage?

Charles Babbage was a mathematician of British origin born in Teignmouth England on December 26, 1791. A specialist in the area of ​​mathematics and computation, he was known for the design and creation of the differential engine and the design of the analytical engine to generate computer programs that represent the basis for the creation of computers. Charles Babbage is known to many as the father of computing and some of his inventions are on display at the London Science Museum. The analytical machine is considered to be the first computer in history. He died in London on October 18, 1817. Currently part of his brain is exhibited at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

For many, Charles Babbage is the father of computing for his scientific contributions and the production he generated while still alive.

  • Biography of Charles Babbage
  • Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine
  • Other inventions
  • Contributions of Charles Babbage

Biography of Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage was born in Teignmounth, Great Britain, on December 26, 1791, he was a brilliant mathematician and scientist in the area of computer science , known for inventing programmable calculating machines.

In 1814 Charles Babbage obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Cambridge University and the following year he created the Analytic Society with J. Herschel with the aim of improving the teaching of mathematics in the United Kingdom. In 1816, he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1829 he taught at Cambridge University.

Specialist in the theories of functions and algebraic analysis, Charles Babbage focused on the creation of a machine that could perform mathematical tables . Thus, in 1833 he created the “differential machine” which allowed logarithms to be calculated and printed.

At the end of the “differential engine” he directed his efforts to design an analytical engine that would process arithmetic instructions. This time she had the monetary help of the English government and Ada Lovelance, who would be the first programmer in history .

The prototype of the analytical machine had the parts of a modern computer . It had memory, input devices, central processing unit, and printer. Unfortunately this prototype was never built in full scale.

On October 18, 1871, at the age of 79, Charles Babbage died of kidney failure.

Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine

One of the most outstanding inventions of Charles Babbage is the analytical engine , which he designed between the years 1833 and 1842. This device could program any type of calculations. His work was inspired by Joseph Marie Jacquard’s loom, which worked with the use of punched cards to create designs on the fabric. Charles Baggage designed the analytical machine with devices that entered three types of punch cards, an arithmetic processor for numerical calculation, a control unit, and a memory that stored numbers until they were processed.

Many consider the analytical engine as the first computer in history.

In addition, the analytical machine had a part that printed the results, which was used for various types of typography. In this sense, it could be said that the analytical machine had a printer included.

Unfortunately, he did not have the budget to build the analytical machine as it required many parts and a large amount of space. In addition to these elements against it, it was added that to make the machine work the power of a locomotive was required . For this reason, many of its detractors dubbed the machine “Babbage’s madness.”

Other inventions

Charles Babbage is known for other important inventions such as:

  • The blueprints for the printer, which was built by the London Science Museum.
  • He raised and helped re-establish the postage system we use today.
  • He created the cow warning device, an invention that is used in trains to remove elements from the track that could derail it.
  • He invented the ophthalmoscope, a device that allows you to examine the eyeball.

Contributions of Charles Babbage

Other contributions by Charles Babbage were reflected in:

  • The creation of the Analytical Society to promote the Leibniz calculus.
  • The Philosophical Transactions publication related to the calculus of functions.
  • His studies of climatic behavior through the study of the rings of the trees of great age.

His participation as an active member of the Society of Astronomy and Statistics, in which he contributed several scientific publications.

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