In today’s era, the way we are dependent on our smartphones for every single thing whether it’s about listening music, playing games, writing contents, watching videos, etc. is all a gift from the father of computers.
Our father of the computer is Charles Babbage who modernised our world by enhancing the technologies in the computer field. He completely turned our lives from a very complex one to a straightforward one. He gifted us with high-level technology, i.e. the computer thus earning him the name “Father of Computer” because he was the one who invented it.
The early life of Charles Babbage:
He was born on 26th December 1791 in Surrey, London. He studied at Cambridge University. He owns the title “Father of Computing” and is well known for originating the concept of a digital programmable computer for the very first time. His parents were Benjamin Babbage and Elizabeth Pumleigh Teape. He was their eldest son.
He studied at best schools, namely Exeter, Enfield, Totnes and Oxford. At Trinity, He had much interest in mathematics. And then he joined Peterhouse at Cambridge University in 1812. And there he became the top mathematician. He formed an Analytical Society consisting of all famous young scientists.
But he did’ nt graduate from Cambridge University with any honour because of some dispute regarding his thesis. So he got a degree without any examination in 1814. After this, he soon became a lecturer of Astronomy in the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London. He was also a recipient of the Royal fellowship of this society in 1816 for improving Natural Knowledge.
Babbage and his great inventions in the computer field:
Babbage was a great mathematical genius. In 1813, Babbage was the first one to get the idea about constructing a machine which is efficient of perfect calculation and printing of mathematical tables without any error which was named “Difference Engine”. He was an exceptionally skilled scientist, economist, arithmetician as well as an engineer.
He was a kind of natural inventor who created new technology products by himself without anyone’s help. He also invented the first general-purpose computer concept based Engine, i.e. an Analytical Engine containing an ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit). It was just like a mechanical digital computer. In this, he used the principle of the mathematical process which used the method of addition of polynomial equations by simple machines.
The British Government gives honours and opportunities:
Seeing Babbage’s great inventions, the Government started taking an interest in his works and enrolled him in several projects to work. And they also provided him with monetary benefits for these projects. Initially, the Government gave him $1.700 for the project of modelling a multi-tasking machine which could calculate complex mathematical tables in significantly less time and is also cheap. But this proved quite expensive as he used the metal parts in making this machine.
So this metalworking Difference Engine outreached the initial valuation or assessment of Government. But in 1832, Babbage finally prospered in fabricating a cheap and best working model which was capable of calculating mathematical tables only up to six decimal places which were visualised by the original design itself. Then Babbage started with the more complex programmable calculating machine, i.e. Analytical Engine; which is now a part of our modernised world computers.
His Honours, Publications and new inventions:
He was a recipient of Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. And his famous publications include “Passages from the life of a philosopher”, “Reflections on the decline of science in England”. His other inventions also include:
- An ophthalmoscope, i.e. “black box”,
- A seismograph,
- An altimeter, and
- A cow-catcher.
- He also lodged about utilising the tidal movements of the oceans to generate power which is now a new source of renewable energy in today’s world.
Personal life of Babbage:
He was married to Georgiana Whitemore on 2nd July 1814. They gave birth to 8 children out of which only three could survive. Their names were Dugald, Benjamin and Henry. After a year or so, his life got struck with a tragedy. His father, his two sons as well as his wife; they all died in 1828. Then he went to Europe for a trip. And when his daughter also died, he decided to engross himself in his work with full dedication without any distraction.
He died on 18th October 1871 when he was 79 years of age. His last remains are in London’s Kensal Green Cemetery. But still today, a part of his brain is conserved in the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons of London and rest of the piece is kept for display in the Science Museum London.