Google celebrates physicist Joseph Plateau's birthday anniversary

Google doodle with the phenakistiscope   | Photo Credit:

A quirky animation tossing the Monday morning pancake welcomed Google desktop audience today. It was to celebrate Belgian physicist Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau who invented the phenakistiscope, an animation device that creates an illusion of motion. The phenakistoscope is believed to have paved the way for the birth of moving picture entertainment and cinema. Today is Plateau's 218th birth anniversary.

The doodle, created by animator, filmmaker and Doodler Olivia Huynh, is the first doodle with different imagery and themes on different device platforms such as desktop, mobile, and the Google App.

Born in Brussels in 1801, Plateau studied at the University of Liège, and in 1829 graduated as a doctor of physical and mathematical sciences. His research looked into the effect of colours on the retina, and how moving images get distorted and their reconstruction using revolving discs. He then taught mathematics at the Atheneum school in Brussels.

Joseph Plateau’s 218th Birthday


In 1832, he invented the phenakistoscope, made of two discs and viewing slits which was the first device that gave the illusion of a moving image. In 1835, he was appointed Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Ghent University.

The Google Doodle page also contains early animation tests for the doodle and an interview with the creator. “I enjoy Plateau's broad range of interests. I think it's a good message to show that you can be interested in lots of things, like science, math, art, invention, craft, and that they can overlap,” says Huynh.

Visible in Poland is another doodle celebrating their teacher's day and another doodle in Belarus marking Mother's Day.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 5:11:23 AM |

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