Pascal, Blaise - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Pascal, Blaise

Mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, religious thinker, and writer, Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) was born in Clermont-Ferrand, France, on June 19, 1623, the second of three children of Étienne Pascal, a government official and man of wide learning. His mother died in 1626, and in 1631 the family moved to Paris. His exceptional talents evident early on, Pascal was educated entirely by his father, who in 1635 introduced him to Marin Mersenne's newly founded académie, where the latest problems in mathematics, science, and philosophy were being discussed. At sixteen he wrote an original work on conic sections. At nineteen he invented a calculating machine, the Pascaline, that was awarded an early form of patent; a series of further machines were built and a few have survived. (Some letters were discovered in 1935 and 1956, written in 1623–1624 by the German scientist Wilhelm Schickard, which contained a description and...

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This section contains 1,248 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Pascal, Blaise Encyclopedia Article
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Pascal, Blaise from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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