Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau – A Complete Life Biogaphy

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Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau (14 October 1801 – 15 September 1883) was a Belgian physicist and mathematician. He was one among the primary people to demonstrate the illusion of a moving image. He called this device of 1832 the phenakistiscope.


Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau was born in Brussels. His father, Antoine Plateau (fr) born in Tournai, was a talented flower painter. At the age of six, the younger Plateau already could read, making him a toddler prodigy in those times. While attending grade school , he was particularly impressed by a lesson of physics; enchanted by the experiments he observed, he vowed to get their secrets someday.

Plateau spent his school holidays in Marche-Les-Dames, together with his uncle and his family; his cousin and playfellow was Auguste Payen, who later became an architect and therefore the principal designer of the Belgian railways. At the age of fourteen, he lost his father and mother; the trauma caused by this loss made him fall ill.

He lost his eyesight later in his life and attributed the loss to the present experiment. However, this might not are the case, and he may have instead suffered from chronic uveitis.

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Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau became a far off member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1872.

Plateau died in Ghent in 1883.

Eventually switching his academic focus to science, Plateau’s doctoral thesis would offer the idea for a landmark moment in both science and therefore the arts.

Three years later, he used this research to make the primary ever moving image, creating what’s referred to as a phenakistiscope.

While Plateau’s invention in effect paved the way for contemporary cinema, his fascination with light and vision may have cost him his sight.

The physicist is claimed to possess performed an experiment during which he gazed at the sun for 25 seconds so as to raised understand the consequences of sunshine on the retina.

While he’s said to possess blamed this experiment for his declining sight, others believe he may have actually suffered from chronic uveitis.

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But this loss of vision didn’t stop his scientific work, and he would continue to form several important discoveries, including within the area of physical phenomenon – the tendency of liquids to shrink into the littlest possible area .

Academic career:

In 1827, Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau became an educator of mathematics at the “Atheneum” school in Brussels.[11] In 1835, he was appointed Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Ghent University.


In 1832, Plateau invented an early stroboscopic device, the “phenakistiscope”, the primary device to offer the illusion of a moving image. When the 2 disks rotated at the right speed, the synchronization of the windows and therefore the images created an animated effect. The projection of stroboscopic photographs, creating the illusion of motion, eventually led to the event of cinema.

Plateau’s problem:

Plateau also studied the phenomena of capillarity and physical phenomenon . The mathematical problem of existence of a minimal surface with a given boundary is known as after him.

The German architect Frei Otto famously used Plateau’s minimal surface techniques to style a light-weight and spacious covering for the West…

The blind Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau (using an assistant as his eyes) spent a few years observing the shape of soap films and bubbles. He found that if a wire frame the shape of some curve is dipped during a soap solution, then the film forms beautiful curved surfaces.…

In popular Culture:

On 14 October 2019, the program Google commemorated Plateau with a Doodle on his 218th birth anniversary. This doodle was created by animator, filmmaker, and Doodler Olivia Huynh inspirationally and help from Diana Tran and Tom Tabanao. it’s the primary Google Doodle with different artwork exposure across different device displays—desktop, mobile, and therefore the Google App.


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