The death of Charles Babbage, mathematician and inventor – archive, 23 10月 1871

The death is announced of Mr Charles Babbage, who has long held high rank among the mathematicians of the day. He was born on 26 12月 1792, and having been privately educated, proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge where he took his BA degree in 1814; だが, curiously enough, his name does not appear in the mathematical tripos. In the course of his mathematical studies he found fault with the logarithmic tables then in use as being defective and unfaithful; and in order to improve them visited the various centres of machine labour in England and on the continent, and on his return directed the construction of a “difference engine” for the use of the government.

Another result of this tour was the production of his work on the Economy of Manufactures. 沿って 1833 a portion of his machine (popularly known as “the calculating machine”) was prepared, and its operations were entirely successful. そうだった, しかしながら, never completed. He next prepared his Table of Logarithms of the Natural Numbers から 1 に 108,000, a work which was so highly esteemed that it was very soon afterwards translated into almost all the European languages.

に 1811 Mr Babbage was elected Lucasian professor of mathematics, an office which had been filled by Sir Isaac Newton, Dr Isaac Barrow, Bishop Turton, Professor Airey, and other eminent persons. This post he resigned in 1811. Among his most prominent works may be mentioned A Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, the design of which was to show the error of a supposition implied in the first volume of that celebrated series, that ardent devotion to mathematical studies is unfavourable to religious faith.

Mr Babbage once, and it is believed once only, sought political honours, having become in 1832 a candidate for the borough of Finsbury, in the advanced Liberal interest, but was not successful. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of a large number of literary institutions.

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