Learn more physics!
I would like to find a short biography of Charles Babbage but everything I find is too hard to understand or too detailed. I was wondering if you could give me some information. Thanks.
Melbourne Girls, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Charles Babbage was a English mathematician who lived from
1791-1871. He did a lot of important things in mathematics while
working at Cambridge University, but he seems to be most famous for his
designs for the "Difference Engine #1" and the "Analytical Engine" -
these were basically designs for early calculators. The Difference
Engine was designed to create mathematical tables and was finally
finished in 1854 by George Sheutz, a Swedish printer. It worked
surprisingly well. The Analytical Engine was never finished, but was
still a brilliant idea. Calculators like these eventually evolved into
today's computers, and Charles Babbage has sometimes been called the
"father of computing".
There are some pretty good biographies online at:
My recommendation is that you read through these and any others you can turn up using Google
(just search for "Charles Babbage" and you'll get lots of results).
Don't let yourself get intimidated by the details. There's absolutely
nothing wrong with skimming through a biography and reading only the
parts that make sense.
(republished on 07/18/06)
Follow-up on this answer.