Touted as Pascal’s greatest mathematics inventions, the theory of probability was in fact a great contribution to the field of mathematics by this genius mathematician. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Blaise Pascal got religious visions in 1654 leading him to write 18 letters from 1656 to 1657. An interesting trivia in this list of Blaise Pascal facts relates to his education. He was trying to make improvement to his mechanical calculator, Pascaline, and in doing so, accidentally discovered the roulette machine. While, one could directly add and subtract using the calculator, for division and multiplication, one had to use the repeated addition and subtraction method. Quotations from Blaise Pascal 1. We hope we have honored his legacy by covering these interesting facts about his life and works in today’s post. Pensees is regarded as a gem of French prose and a landmark as well. If you win, you win all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Blaise was three years old at the time and had two sisters, Gilberte and Jacqueline. He wrote the influential work Provincial letters. These tests paved the way for further studies in hydrodynamics and hydrostatics. 14 Facts about W.EB. Now, you have the chance to discover a great deal about this magnanimous personality from this list that is showcasing 18 Blaise Pascal inventions and facts that will cover his inventions, works, life, death and family. Pensees is regarded as a jewel among the rest of Blaise Pascal books, and is definitely a masterpiece by the great French Classical Period writer. Les premiers travaux de Pascal concernent les sciences naturelles et appliquées. This blog tells us about his life, inventions, and different areas of interest. Blaise Pascal was a French Mathematician, Physcist, inventor, Philosopher, writer and theologist. It was after he reached 31 years of age when Pascal redirected his life and purpose towards fulfilling religious pursuits instead of scientific ones. In 1654 Blaise invented the roulette machine with other inventor, Pierre de Fermat. Blaise Pascal, (born June 19, 1623, Clermont-Ferrand, France—died August 19, 1662, Paris), French mathematician, physicist, religious philosopher, and master of prose. Therefore, the triangle is named after him. In the experiment, one barometric tube was installed at a place in the town, while, the other twin barometric tube was placed on top of a mountain. It repudiated free will, accepted predestination, and taught that divine grace, rather than good works, was the key to salvation. Blaise Pascal's Birth day Blaise was born in Clermont-Ferrand France Period: Jun 19, 1623 to Aug 19, 1662. On her prescription, his family procured special herbs for his treatment and also sacrificed two cats. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). This society was called Académie libre, and Blaise took an instant liking to it. After his father’s death in 1651 and the subsequent decision of his sister Jacqueline to become a nun, Pascal had intense visions while lying on his bed. His letters indicate that for several years he was his family’s spiritual adviser, but the conflict within himself—between the world and ascetic life—was not yet resolved. On being confronted, the woman accepted to have cast an evil spell on Pascal. Blaise Pascal books like Pensees and Provincial Letters are famed for their theological content and purpose. It was in 1654 that Blaise Pascal denounced his scientific pursuits forever and went religious. In these letters, he focused on religion and defended the Jansenist community against the Jesuits. Therefore, it was concluded by Pascal that atmospheric pressure decreased with an increase in height. Drawing of the Pascaline calculator designed by Blaise Pascal. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. This great scientist and mathematician suffered from sickness all throughout his adult life. These brothers belonged to Jansenism movement and believed in living an austere and god fearing life. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. It was in 1655 that Pascal, being the avid inventor, was experimenting to invent a perpetual machine that could operate without using energy from an external source. It was in 1653 that Blaise Pascal wrote his famed mathematical book called Traité du triangle arithmétique or Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle, and brought the concept to the people of the west. Blaise Pascal founded a direct relation between atmospheric pressure and height when Florin Perier, his brother in law conducted an experiment at Puy-de-Dome in France. He invented Pascal’s Law and his influential principle. Pascal himself was the first to feel the necessity of entirely turning away from the world to God, and he won his family over to the spiritual life in 1646. Most historical books claim that the first watch was discovered by Peter Heinlein, a German. Blaise Pascal (centre) conducting experiments with a mercury barometer at a tower in Paris, engraving from. Pascal strapped the wrist watch using a piece of string. While there, he rubbed his shoulders with other prominent personalities like Fermat and Descartes. At the age of 18, Blaise invented a numeric wheel calculator, referred to as Pascaline. The establishment of his principle of intuitionism had an impact on such later philosophers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Henri Bergson and also on the Existentialists. He home tutored his three children – Pascal, Gilberte and Jacqueline in Paris while working on his various scientific pursuits. Director of Studies, Religious Sciences Division, Institute for Advanced Research, Paris. Who would have imagined that the roulette machine was an invention by the influential scientist, inventor and mathematician, Blaise Pascal? In this essay, he studied geometrical figures like hexagons under projection. According to them, Pascal fell sick because of a black magic spell cast by an elderly woman. Blaise Pascal, né le 19 juin 1623 à Clermont-Ferrand en Auvergne, mort le 19 août 1662 à Paris, est un mathématicien, physicien, inventeur, philosophe, moraliste et théologien français. -Pascal invented the Pascalines or Pascal’s calculator. Also read: His father, Étienne, was a civil servant and served as king's counselor. Blaise Pascal était un mathématicien, un physicien et un philosophe religieux français, qui a jeté les bases de la théorie moderne des probabilités. He had been assisting his father, who worked as a tax commissioner and sought to produce a device that could reduce some of his workloads. Pascal’s friend wanted to figure out the best time to bet on a dice game, and how to fairly divide the stakes if the game was stopped midway through. French philosopher and scientist Blaise Pascal was born on June 19, 1623, in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Blaise Pascal had an intense religious vision … He conducted two of the most detailed studies namely, Treatise on the Weight of the Mass of Air and Treatise on the Equilibrium of Liquids that got published to become the benchmarks for hydraulics and hydrostatics sciences. This law is the underlying principle of the hydraulic press that worked by using hydraulic pressure which multiplies force. Most people attributed the reason to witchcraft. He, along with his gambler cum mathematician cum lawyer friend – Pierre de Fermat, founded this theory while discussing on the matter related with gambling problems in 1654. trans., The Physical Treatises of Pascal, 1937) and also his Traité du triangle arithmétique. Knowing that he was the one who created the world's most effective solution in calculating big and stressful numbers. It was published seven years after (in 1669) Pascals’ death in 1662. 19, 1662) was one of the most reputed mathematicians and physicists of his time. Absorbed again in his scientific interests, he tested the theories of Galileo and Evangelista Torricelli (an Italian physicist who discovered the principle of the barometer). The dials show the French monetary unit, the livre, which was divided into 12 deniers, each subdivided into 20 sols. Since, Pascal contributed a lot towards studying and finding new concepts in the field of atmospheric pressure, it was, but natural to honor him and his legacy by naming a unit of atmospheric pressure Pascal (Pa). While his sister Jacqueline (born in 1625) figured as an infant prodigy in literary circles, Blaise proved himself no less precocious in mathematics. His mother died in 1626, and in 1631 the family moved to Paris. The roulette mechanism is a hybrid of a gaming wheel invented in 1720 and the Italian game Biribi.. To help with his father’s lengthy tax work in Rouen, in 1642 the young genius began work on his calculating machine, which was the first working mechanical calculating machine ( machine of Pascal). Jansenism was a 17th-century form of Augustinianism in the Roman Catholic Church. Pascal was a child prodigy tutored and educated by his father Etienne Pascal. Until 1646 the Pascal family held strictly Roman Catholic principles, though they often substituted l’honnêteté (“polite respectability”) for inward religion. Young Blaise discovered a new geometrical theorem at age 16 and went on to become a mathematician, physicist, philosopher, writer and inventor. Blaise Pascal, né le 19 juin 1623 à Clermont (aujourd'hui Clermont-Ferrand) en Auvergne et mort le 19 août 1662 à Paris, est un mathématicien, physicien, inventeur, philosophe, moraliste et théologien français . Blaise Pascal never went to school,… And his theorem came to be known as Pascal’s Theorem. Blaise Pascal died after suffering terrible pain, probably from carcinomatous meningitis following a malignant ulcer of the stomach, in 1662. Blaise Pascal, (born June 19, 1623, Clermont-Ferrand, France—died August 19, 1662, Paris), French mathematician, physicist, religious philosopher, and master of prose. La pascaline (ou machine d’arithmétique) est une calculatrice mécanique mise au point par Blaise Pascal entre 1641 et 1642. From discovering Pascal’s Theorem at the tender age of 16, to inventing the first mechanical calculator at 19 to help his father, Pascal was an all rounder who contributed a lot towards various fields. Pascaline composed eight movable dials that added up through the use of base ten. Omissions? She disclosed that Pascal never stayed healthy after he crossed 18 years of age. In addition to his contributions to the field … The significance of this contribution explains the youthful pride that appears in his dedication of the machine to the chancellor of France, Pierre Seguier, in 1644. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. It was because of Pascal’s father, Etinenne’s accident that the whole Pascal family converted to another faith that believed in living life dedicated to god – Jansenism. He became a philosopher and a religious man, and dedicated all his time to the study of god and religious pursuits. French mathematician Blaise Pascal, like many of the people on this list, contributed to a number of fields of mathematics. Pascal's Triangle provides a remarkably elegant way to calculate binomial coefficients, a set of numbers that are important in algebra and elsewhere. Updates? Between 1642 and 1644, Pascal conceived and constructed a calculating device, the Pascaline, to help his father—who in 1639 had been appointed intendant (local administrator) at Rouen—in his tax computations. He was given education at home by his father, Etienne. Du Bois Life and Contribution, 15 Most Disastrous Pandemics That Changed History, 15 Fearless Female Warriors of Ancient World. "Use. But, these survived to influence the writings of French writers like Voltaire. Among his proudest achievements were inventing the early mechanical calculator, creating the mathematical theory now known as Pascal… He was a great philosopher, who, at 23 years of age converted from Christianity to Jansenism. Etienne was a tax collector and talented mathematician and Antoinette died when Blaise was a baby, as a result of which he was very close to his elder sisters who raised him. French inventor Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623–Aug. In mathematics, you might recognize his name in Pascal's triangle. When he fell ill from overwork, his doctors advised him to seek distractions; but what has been described as Pascal’s “worldly period” (1651–54) was, in fact, primarily a period of intense scientific work, during which he composed treatises on the equilibrium of liquid solutions, on the weight and density of air, and on the arithmetic triangle: Traité de l’équilibre des liqueurs et de la pesanteur de la masse de l’air (Eng. Blaise Pascal invented the syringe. Also Read: 15 Mesopotamia Achievements & Inventions. It took three weeks for Blaise to walk on his feet again. The young man’s work, which was highly successful in the world of mathematics, aroused the envy of no less a personage than the great French Rationalist and mathematician René Descartes. He built 50 of them over the next 10 years. He passed away at the young age of 39 on 19th August in the year 1662. A company by the name of Schickard had manufactured a type of mechanical calculator in 1624. Brothers Deschamps were the best bone setters of that time, and were called upon for the treatment. Blaise's mother, Antoinette, died in 1626. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Blaise-Pascal, The Story of Mathematics - 17th Century Mathematics - Pascal, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Biography of Blaise Pascal, Blaise Pascal - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Blaise Pascal - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Thanks to him, we now have a great casino game with us! This conversion was the starting point for Pascal as far as religious pursuits were concerned and is known as the ‘First Conversion’. Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, writer and Catholic theologian. Also Read: 15 Facts from Leo Tolstoy Biography. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Pascal’s father, Étienne Pascal, was presiding judge of the tax court at Clermont-Ferrand. Etienne was a civil servant and was a member of noblesse de robe, the French aristocratic class. His best-known philosophical invention was Pascal's Wager, the argument that pragmatism demands living your life as if God exists, because you will lose little if God is a myth but stand to gain immeasurably (eternal life) if God is real [source: Honderich; "Pascal's Wager" ]. Il s’agit tout simplement de la première machine à calculer, capable d’effectuer des additions et des soustractions. This religious revelation or second conversion changed his bent of mind forever. By the end of 1653, however, he had begun to feel religious scruples; and the “night of fire,” an intense, perhaps mystical “conversion” that he experienced on November 23, 1654, he believed to be the beginning of a new life. In 1631 the family moved to Paris, France. Il contribue de manière importante à l’étude des fluides. The 17 th century French physicist and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, is known for many important contributions to both fields, which is particularly impressive considering the fact that he died at the really quite young age of 39. He is credited with inventing an early calculator, amazingly advanced for its time, called the Pascaline. It was in this essay that Pascal introduced the Pascal line. Il s’agira toutefois d’un échec commercial à cause de son prix élevé (100 livres). Also Read: 15 Marie Curie Facts you should Know. Here is one very interesting trivia in this collection of Blaise Pascal facts, and it relates to his falling ill because of witchcraft. One of the the greatest Blaise Pascal inventions was his contribution towards the branch of Projective Geometry, a branch or field that deals with various in-variants of geometrical figures. To do so, he reproduced and amplified experiments on atmospheric pressure by constructing mercury barometers and measuring air pressure, both in Paris and on the top of a mountain overlooking Clermont-Ferrand. The first form of roulette was devised in 18th century France.Many historians believe Blaise Pascal introduced a primitive form of roulette in the 17th century in his search for a perpetual motion machine. Throughout his life, Blaise Pascal remained sickly, always in pain or on some kind of medication. He came out strongly in support of Jansenists in a rather witty way, thereby, causing great uproar in the Jesuit community. An illness of his father, however, brought Blaise into contact with a more profound expression of religion, for he met two disciples of the abbé de Saint-Cyran, who, as director of the convent of Port-Royal, had brought the austere moral and theological conceptions of Jansenism into the life and thought of the convent. Seeing his mathematical bent of mind, at the tender age of 13, Pascal was introduced by his father to the society that discussed on high level topics related to science and maths. An interesting trivia in this list of Blaise Pascal facts relates to his education. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God exists. It was in 1642 that Blaise Pascal, in his endeavor to help his father to solve tedious tax calculations, invented the first and world’s only fully functional mechanical calculator. Pascal, owing to ill health couldn’t conduct the experiment himself. When writing about Blaise Pascal inventions, his law of hydrostatics has to be mentioned. Blaise Pascal invented the wrist watch and was the first man to wear it. The theory of probability. Ans: Lebiniz invented first mechanical calculator named “stepped reckoner”. Blaise Pascal simply improvised the use by tying it on his wrist using a string. Pascal was the new computer language developed in 1972 by a scientist called Nicklaus Wirth who dedicated it to the great inventor and mathematician Blaise Pascal. The modern day syringe was also invented by Blaise Pascal on the basis of Pascal’s Law. While experimenting, Pascal invented the syringe and created the hydraulic press, an instrument based upon the principle that became known as Pascal’s principle: pressure applied to a confined liquid is transmitted undiminished through the liquid in all directions regardless of the area to which the pressure is applied. Revendication : Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat invented probability theory to solve a gambling problem. All Rights Reserved. In the last treatise, a fragment of the De Alea Geometriae, he laid the foundations for the calculus of probabilities. A Brief History. This genius mathematician was also a great writer of French prose and is famous for his works that include Pensees and Letters Provinciales.