Charles Babbage invented the first general-purpose computer in an effort to prevent the mathematical errors that were prevalent in the human-calculated mathematics of his time. Babbage had an obsession with mathematical precision, explains the Charles Babbage website.
Know MoreBabbage was born into a very wealthy family. His father was able to send Charles to only the elitist schools of his time. Babbage was accepted into Trinity University, Cambridge in 1810. Uninspired by its mathematics program, he formed a club called The Analytical Society with a few colleagues. In spite of being the best mathematician of his class, Babbage failed to graduate. The Charles Babbage website notes that he was later granted an honorary degree.
Charles' first attempted invention was the difference machine. He presented this to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1822. This machine was able to calculate polynomials using a numerical method known as the difference method. The Society granted Charles the funds to build the machine, but it was never finished. In 1849, Babbage completed a design for a second difference machine. He never made any attempts to construct this machine. However, the design was so ingenious that Babbage is considered to be the father of modern computers, states the Charles Babbage website.
Learn more in Modern HistoryCharles Babbage invented his analytical engine between 1833 and 1871. The first freely programmable calculator, considered the first digital computer, was called the Z1 and was created in 1936 by Konrad Zuse. It spurred computer development around the world.
Full Answer >Charles Babbage invented the first mechanical computer, called the Difference Engine, in 1821 and completed it in 1832. The Difference Engine could perform simple calculations and compile mathematical tables. Babbage later conceived the Analytical Engine, a device that could perform any calculation, but was unable to construct a prototype during his lifetime.
Full Answer >Social life in the southern colonies was based on the strict social class system in place at the time, so activities varied for those colonists who were wealthy versus those who were poor, and for those who were free versus indentured servants or slaves. With no large cities in the colonies, social life revolved around plantation and farm life.
Full Answer >Radiometric dating works by determining the ratio of the number of isotopes of an element and the number of isotopes the element it turns into over time. Since the rate at which certain elements decay and turn into different elements is understood, scientists are able to calculate the age of substances.
Full Answer >