Google Celebrates the Belgian

Well , the Doodle is here and it is for an Belgian who is considered to be the Father of Modern Cinema we can also say GIF.

Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau (14 October 1801 – 15 September 1883) was a Belgian physicist and mathematician. He is the inventor of a device called the  phenakistiscope.

What’s a Phenakistiscope?


This was considered to be the first widespread animation device that created a fluid illusion of motion. The phenakistiscope is regarded as one of the first forms of moving media in the entertainment industry. Like a Gif animation, it can only show a short continuous loop.

The device usually comes in the form of a spinning cardboard disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed radially around the disc’s center is a series of pictures showing sequential phases of the animation. Small rectangular apertures are spaced evenly around the rim of the disc. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the images reflected in a mirror. The scanning of the slits across the reflected images keeps them from simply blurring together so that the user can see a rapid succession of images that appear to be a single moving picture.

Plateau’s Phenakistiscope showing animated Snakes.

Soon after it’s commercial success , there were many spin -off versions.


Fascinated by the persistence of luminous impressions on the retina, Plateau performed an experiment in which he gazed directly into the sun for 25 seconds. He lost his eyesight later in his life, and attributed the loss to this experiment. 

He has many accolades to his name as contributed immensely to the Rayleigh instability

#History #Science