Blaise Pascal: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Blaise Pascal.

  • Blaise Pascal was a French physicist, inventor, mathematician and philosopher. He also studied the properties of fluids, and researched and wrote about probability theory and projective geometry.

  • He was born in Clermont-Ferrand, France in 1623, and was interested in mathematics and science from an early age. By age 16 he was presenting mathematical theories that he had devised.
  • In 1642, Pascal invented a calculator with movable dials, to help his father calculate taxes. He devised and built 20 calculating machines, making him one of the first people to construct a mechanical calculator.
  • Pascal was fascinated by the concept of the vacuum, and he conducted important research. During one of his experiments he carried a barometer to the top of a 50 metre high Paris church tower.
  • The hydraulic press and the syringe were both invented by Blaise Pascal. He also devised an early version of a roulette game, and experimented with measuring pressure with a barometer.
  • Blaise Pascal developed a mathematical theory of probability, based on his interest in gambling. He also carried out important work into the relationship between gasses and liquids.

Blaise Pascal

  • Pascal became interested in religion and philosophy and wrote important works on the subjects. His famous work, the Provincial Letters, was written to defend another theologian of the time.
  • After having a religious vision in 1654, Blaise Pascal became less interested in science and mathematics. He wrote several important books on Christianity and philosophy, such as his book, the Thoughts.
  • One of his last achievements was the development of an early bus route to transport many people at once.
  • He died in Paris in 1662, rejecting the help of his doctor.
  • Blaise Pascal has lent his name to a programming language, a unit of pressure and a hydrostatics law. Pascal’s Triangle, a diagram of prime numbers, is also named for him.

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