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Charles babbage


Charles Babbage was born on December 26, 1791 in London, the son of a banker. His family provided him with a wealthy life from the start. He fell in love with mathematics early on but was unhappy with teaching at Cambridge, studying for himself the works of Newton, Leibniz, and Euler.

In 1812, encouraged by his friends, he set up the "Analytical Society" of Cambridge students. His first works were the history of calculus and an English translation of Lacroix. At 24, in 1816, he was elected a member of the Royal Society of London. He began writing several articles on different topics in mathematics, none but particularly important.

Although he became a member, he described the Royal Society Council as follows: "A lot of men who have elected one another dine together at the expense of the Society to praise one another with their wine and then give each other medals. others."

In 1819, he formulated a plan for the construction of logarithm tables from calculations performed by a machine. He began building a small "Difference Machine", ending his project in 1822. He announced his invention while proclaiming the need to build a larger machine. In 1823 it was decorated by the Astronomical Society for its small machine. He then began to seek resources for the construction of the large machine. It obtained public resources and designed for 3 years the end of the construction of his machine, which even theoretically had an automatic printing mechanism.

The initial budget "burst" and construction was slower than expected. In 1827, several tragedies struck Babbage. His father, his wife and two of their children died. Besides, his health was not going well. It was necessary to suspend the project for some years. From 1834 to 1842 the building was resumed, with great expenses of the government and also of its personal fortune. Until, as the results were not satisfactory, the government suspended aid and the project again stalled.

During the construction of the difference machine, Babbage envisioned the idea of ​​an even more sophisticated mechanism: the "Analytical Machine." Although this was no more than drawings and plans, it essentially contemplated the foundations of modern computers.

Babbage died in London on October 18, 1871 and although his analytical machine plans never got off the ground during his lifetime, it became clear later that with the development of technological resources his ideas (with various improvements, of course). ) would be put into practice and transform the world in the twentieth century.