Who was Joseph Plateau, today’s Google Doodle

Did you take advantage of the weekend to go to the movies and see, perhaps, The Joker with Joaquin Phoenix? If you were able to do so, much of the credit goes to Joseph Plateau. No, we're not talking about one of the screenwriters, or an executive producer or an assistant director. Not least because, even if he wanted to, there's no way he could have set foot on the set of what looks to be the movie of the year. Joseph Plateau died on September 15, 1883 in Ghent (Belgium) at the age of almost 82. So, why has today's Google doodle been dedicated to him?

Simply put: today is the 218th anniversary of Joseph Plateau's birth and the Mountain View giant wanted to dedicate the home page of its search engine to him for his contribution to the development of film technology. Without him, just to be clear, not only would it not have been possible to shoot Joker, but it would not have been possible to shoot any other film or video in general. Let's see why.

Who was Joseph Plateau, today's Google Doodle

Born in Brussels on October 14, 1802, he attended the University of Liège where, in 1832, he graduated in physics. From the very beginning, Plateau was passionate about optics and, after having obtained the chair of experimental physics at the University of Ghent, he devoted himself more and more to this scientific field.

In 1832 he invented a kind of stroboscope, the first instrument ever created to allow to see moving images. It is called phenakistoscope and it is an instrument formed by two disks: on the first one there were equidistant radial windows, thanks to which the observer could look at the images impressed on the second disk. When the two disks rotated at a precise speed, the observer of the phenakistoscope could see animated sequences.