About Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage's Contributions and Inventions

Charles Babbage was an English mathematician who had a significant impact on computer programming. He contributed to the advancement of mathematics in his country. Most of his ideas were applied to calculus because he was able to rectify some formulas that had mistakes. He created a printer with built-in memory. His articles were printed using the printer.

Manual Inventions

Because they were manual, most of his inventions relied on mechanical energy. He had first gotten government money, but because he was unable to provide the final product, the government withdrew the funding. Because he was versatile, his ideas were applied in a variety of sectors. Besides his innovations, he was a mathematics lecturer at the Trinity College in Cambridge. He helped in the development of astronomical and mathematics tables with his sharp skills. He was sharper than his tutors in the discipline which earned him respect among his peers.

Charles Babbage's Background

Charles Babbage is an English mathematician who helped transform the computer systems. He was born in London at a place called Teignmouth in Devonshire in the year 1792. His father was successful in the banking sector and this motivated him when he was growing up. He had an interest in mathematics and even studied ahead of his tutors. Charles became successful at most of the things he participated in. He also led in the invention industry where he came up with several ideas in different fields. ("IEEE-CS Charles Babbage Award House Advertisement", 2017). His ideas led to industrialization.

Babbage's Impact on Industrialization

Before his existence, other writers like Charles Dickens had written negatively about industrialization. They had evidently brought in the negative effects of industrialization and the implications individuals would face from industrialization. Charles Babbage came up with the idea of controlling the ideas that were already in existence.

Babbage's Diverse Interests

He had diverse interests in the scientific world. He actively participated in the industry by applying his techniques in revolutionizing it. He was also involved in the commerce where he sold the innovations he had created. Charles as a mathematics lecturer contributed to the discipline by compiling both astronomical and mathematical tables. ("The Bigger Picture - Engine with a difference", 2015) He was also the chair of Lucasian in the department of mathematics.

Analytical Engine Inventions

Charles Babbage is regarded as a pioneer in computer applications through his analytical engine inventions. The engine was vital in the computer systems since it possessed features which were logical to the modern computer. His specifications of the analytical engine enabled scientists from Britain to accomplish the Difference engine they were building.

Establishment of Societies

He also established the Analytic Society together with John Herschel and George Peacock. The society was vocal in the introduction of the Leibniz notation in England. The main aim of the notation was to supersede the work initially done by Newton. Newton was a scientist famously known for his laws of motion. They also translated into English the differential calculus which was written in the French language. He established other societies which were instrumental in his country. The societies he established include the Society of Astronomy in the year 1820, the Statistical society which is based in London in the year 1834 and the British Association in the year 1831. The societies were used in the mathematical departments in England.

The Difference Machine

The Difference machine, his own innovation, helped in calculating tables which were lengthy. The tables were used in the Astronomy and navigation sectors. The machine worked on the principle of finite differences where trains of gear wheels were added repeatedly. A calculator which was automatic controlled the available cards that were looped and previous results could be assessed. The engine relied on the steam to function. ("The difference engine: computing, knowledge, and the transformation of learning", 2012). The engine's unfinished version is found at King's college at Museum Hill.

Other Contributions

Charles Babbage was also involved in the meteorology, altimetry, probability and various climatic records which were historical. He was so versatile that he even enacted a surgical pump that was multipurpose, he made work easier by compiling dictionaries for word puzzlers and studied how navigation and light signals were being transmitted. He was among the pioneers of the lighthouse signals.

Written Works

He wrote papers concerning different subjects. The 'Passages from a life of a philosopher which he wrote in the year 1864 was used to show the role key figures played during Britain's industrialization. He also wrote a guide for the consumers to guide them in life assurance. The other inventions he participated in include the cowcatcher for monitoring railway engines, The black box recorders used for identifying conditions that precede railways, and the dynamometer that was used to measure the engines mechanical power.


IEEE-CS Charles Babbage Award House Advertisement. (2017). IEEE Multimedia, 24(2), 55-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mmul.2017.36

The Bigger Picture - Engine with a difference. (2015). Engineering & Technology, 10(4), 30-1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/et.2015.0458

The difference engine: computing, knowledge, and the transformation of learning. (2012). Choice Reviews Online, 49(11), 49-6330-49-6330. http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/choice.49-6330

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