Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau Google Doodle on His 218th Birthday: Know About His Invention of the Phenakistoscope (Watch Video of How to Make One)
Phenakistiscope (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Google doodle has paid a tribute to Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau today. The search engine honoured the Belgian physicist who was instrumental in inventing the Phenakistoscope. Born on 14 October 1801, he would be 218 years old at present day. This animation device created an illusion with motion and played a very important role in developing cinema later. He made this invention in the year 1841. The doodle by Google also features an illusion caused by Phenakistoscope. Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau 218th Birth Anniversary Google Doodle: Belgian Physicist Who Invented 'Phénakistiscope' Honoured by Search Engine Giant!

The instrument gets its name from Greek word "phénakisticos" which means "to deceive" or "to cheat." The probable intended translation of this word was to mean "optical deception" or "optical illusion." Even Plateau hadn't given this name to his creation. This device consisted of two disks, attached to a handle. In the disc's center were a series of drawings to show an animated picture. There were equal spaced radial slits. The viewer would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the images reflected in a mirror. The rotation of the two discs resulted in a moving reflection in the mirror and give it an animated effect.

Watch Video of How to Make a Phenakistoscope:

When the number of slots and images is the same, they animated in a fixed position. Fewer images on the spinning disc saw them moving in the opposite direction of the disc. More images than the slot got it spinning in the same direction of the disc. This moving image and animation technology gave the invention of projection which is widely used in cinemas today. Plateau never patented his invention, but he did design his own set of six discs later. It inspired many others later on to make their own and one of the invention resulting from this was the zoetrope.