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Blaise Pascal Essay

This is an example essay on Blaise Pascal:
Blaise Pascal was born June 19, 1623 in Clermont Auvergne, France. He was the third of Etienne Pascal’s kids and his only son. Pascal’s mother died when he was only three years old. In 1632 the Pascal family, Etienne and his four kids, left Clermont and settled in Paris. Pascal’s father had decided to educate his son on his own. For some stupid reason Etienne decided that Blaise was not to study mathematics before the age of 15 and all mathematics texts were removed from their house. But Pascal being like “Curious George” he started to work on geometry at the age of 12. He discovered that the sum of the angles of a triangle are two right angles and, when his father found out, he changed his mind and gave Blaise a copy of Euclid. In December 1639 the Pascal family moved to Rouen, where Etienne had been hired as a tax collector for Upper Normandy.

A little bit after moving to Rouen, Blaise had his first work, Essay on Conic Sections published in February 1640. In 1645 Pascal finally finished inventing the first digital calculator to help his dad with his work collecting taxes. He worked on it for three years starting in 1642. The calculator’s name was Pascaline; it looked like it was made in the 14940’s. This makes Pascal the second person to invent a mechanical calculator for Schickard had manufactured one in 1624. He had a few problems because of the French money at that time. There were 20 sols in a livre and 12 deniers in a sol. Pascal had to solve harder technical problems to work with this division of the livre into 240 than he would have had if the division had been 100. But, he figured it out and did it. In the year 1646, Pascal’s father got hurt. He was looked after by two young brothers that were very religious and then he became very religious.

In August of 1648 Pascal observed that the pressure of the atmosphere decreases with height and figure out that a vacuum existed above the atmosphere. In October 1647 Pascal wrote New Experiments Concerning Vacuums which led to arguments with a few scientists who did not believe in a vacuum. In May 1653 Pascal worked on mathematics and physics writing Treatise on the Equilibrium of Liquids in which he explains Pascal’s law of pressure.

Pascal supported Jansenism and in 1654 entered the Jansenist community at Port Royal. In 1656 and 1657 he wrote the famous 18 Lettres provinciales (Provincial Letters), where he attacked the Jesuits for their attempts to resolve 16th-century naturalism with orthodox Roman Catholicism. Pascal’s last important work was Thoughts on Religion and on Other Subjects, also published in 1670.

Pascal invented the mathematical theory of probability, which has become important in such fields as actuarial, mathematical, and social statistics. Pascal’s other important scientific contributions include the beginning of Pascal’s law, which states that fluids transmit pressures equally in all directions, and his investigations in the geometry of infinitesimals. Pascal was one of the most important mathematicians and physicists and one of the greatest supernatural writers in Christian literature. His religious writings are personal in their thoughts on matters past human understanding. He is usually ranked among the greatest French polemicists, especially in the Lettres provinciales, a classic in the literature of irony. Pascal’s writing style is known for its originality. Pascal died August 19, 1662.

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Jul 1, 2010