Pascal, Blaise

Pascal, Blaise
Name: Pascal, Blaise
Born: 1623
Died: 1662

Blaise Pascal biography

Blaise Pascal was a French philosopher, writer, physicist, and mathematician. He was one of the founders of mathematical analysis, probability theory and projective geometry, author of the basic law of hydrostatics. Pascal is also known for the discovery of the formula of binomial coefficients, the invention of a hydraulic press and a syringe. He is the author of the famous Thoughts and The Provincial Letters, which became the classic of French literature. In honor of Pascal, the unit of pressure measurement (Pascal), as well as the popular Pascal programming language, is named.

Blaise Pascal was born in 1623 in Clermont-Ferrand, France. His father was the chairman of the court, one of the most famous lawyers of the city. All of the Pascal family were distinguished by extraordinary abilities, and Blaise was no exception. In 1631, the family moved to Paris. Pascal received home education. For the first time Blaise surprised his father when, while still a boy, he independently proved the 32-th Euclidean theorem about the sum of the angles in the triangle, not knowing even the names of geometric figures. In the Pascal house, weekly meetings of a group of mathematicians took place. In these meetings, the 16-year-old Pascal began to take the most active part. At the same age, he composed the work Essay on Conics; it contained a theorem, now called the Pascal theorem.

Blaise Pascal was an outstanding and brilliant person, unfortunately, with poor health. When their family moved to Rouen in January 1640, Blaise's sense of well-being began to deteriorate significantly. He invented the arithmetic machine, which was famous even outside his homeland, but intense work seriously harmed his health. His father, friends, physicians forbade him any mental activity, and Blaise has gradually drawn into secular life with its pleasures. However, he never became a true secular man because of his shyness, excessive naivety, sincerity. In 1646, he got acquainted with Jansenism and began to doubt the justification of his studies by science, wondering whether his activity is godlike. On November night of 1664, Pascal, by his own admission, had an intense religious vision. Thereafter he left his secular life and in search of solitude settled at the Port-Royal Monastery.

During the years 1656-57 published by his The Provincial Letters, which caused a real scandal. This work, a real masterpiece of satirical prose, played a significant role in undermining the reputation of the Jesuits. The work came under the pseudonym, however, Pascal had to take security measures to avoid being in Bastille. In about 1652, Pascal’s fundamental work Defense of the Christian Religion was created. He continued to work on this topic but could not finish because for the health. When Pascal died, his friends found whole packs of such records, about 1000 pieces of different sizes, semantic completeness and genre. They were deciphered in 1669 and published in the form of the book Thoughts of M. Pascal on religion, and on some other subjects. From 1658, Blaise Pascal’s disease progressed rapidly, he felt very weak and suffered from severe headaches. Modern scholars have determined that Pascal had a whole bunch of illnesses - brain cancer, rheumatism, etc. Having experienced great physical suffering, having no opportunity to do his favorite things, he engaged in charity, periodically visiting old friends. The 39-year-old Pascal died on August 19, 1662.