University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > IET Cambridge Network - Lectures > DOT-DASH TO DOT.COM: How Modern Telecommunications Evolved from the Telegraph to the Internet

DOT-DASH TO DOT.COM: How Modern Telecommunications Evolved from the Telegraph to the Internet

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Tea is served from 6pm

The profusion of web sites and applications that characterize the modern Internet may seem a far cry from the primitive telegraph systems of the late 1830’s. There is, however, a direct link. The invention of the electric telegraph paved the way for telephone networks which, in turn, laid the foundations for today’s Internet. In less than 170 years, simple arrangements of magnets, switches and cables evolved to become the largest and most complex machine in the world.

How did this happen? Who were the key players in this amazing story? What were the inventions that shaped modern communications, and what is coming next? Dr Andrew Wheen will attempt to answer these and many other questions, bringing to life the characters, the times they lived in, and the technological revolution that they brought about. This lecture will
  • describe some truly heroic feats of 19th century engineering, and the impact that the first telecommunication systems had on the Victorian world;
  • reveal how the success of the electric telegraph led to the development of the telephone and the fax machine;
  • explore some early experiments that led to the Internet and the World Wide Web;
  • introduce a number of larger-than-life characters, whose inventive genius and entrepreneurial flair left an indelible mark on the modern world.

This talk is part of the IET Cambridge Network - Lectures series.

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