Pascal, Blaise

[br]
b. 19 June 1623 Clermont Ferrand, France
d. 19 August 1662 Paris, France
[br]
French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher.
[br]
Pascal was the son of Etienne Pascal, President of the Court of Aids. His mother died when he was 3 years old and he was brought up largely by his two sisters, one of whom was a nun at Port Royal. They moved to Paris in 1631 and again to Rouen ten years later. He received no formal education. In 1654 he was involved in a carriage accident in which he saw a mystical vision of God and from then on confined himself to philosophical rather than scientific matters. In the field of mathematics he is best known for his work on conic sections and on the laws of probability. As a youth he designed a calculating machine of which, it is said, some seventy were made. His main contribution to technology was his elucidation of the laws of hydrostatics which formed the basis of all hydrostatic machines in subsequent years. Pascal, however, did not put these laws to any practical use: that was left to the English cabinet-maker and engineer Joseph Bramah more than a century later. Suffering from indifferent health, Pascal persuaded his brother-in-law Périer to repeat the experiments of Evangelista Torricelli on the pressure of the atmosphere. This involved climbing the 4,000 ft (1,220 m) of the Puy de Dôme, a mountain close to Clermont, with a heavy mercury-in-glass barometer. The experiment was reported in the 1647 pamphlet "Expériences nouvelles touchant le vide". The Hydrostatic Law was laid down by Pascal in Traité de l'équilibre des liqueurs, published a year after his death. In this he established the fact that in a fluid at rest the pressure is transmitted equally in all directions.
[br]
Bibliography
1647, "Expériences nouvelles touchant le vide". 1663, Traité de l'équilibre des liqueurs.
Further Reading
J.Mesnard, 1951, Pascal, His Life and Works.
I.McNeil, 1972, Hydraulic Power, London: Longmans.
IMcN

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PASCAL, BLAISE° — (1623–1662), French religious philosopher, writer, and scientist. Pascal, an ardent Christian, was a member of the austere Catholic group known as the Jansenists. He is famous for his Pensées sur la religion (1670), fragments intended to form… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Pascal, Blaise — • French scientist and philosopher (1623 1662) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pascal, Blaise — ► (1623 62) Matemático, físico y filósofo francés. Escribió a los dieciséis años un Tratado de las secciones cónicas e inventó a los dieciocho una máquina calculadora. Sus experiencias acerca del vacío y del equilibrio de los fluidos son… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Pascal, Blaise — born June 19, 1623, Clermont Ferrand, France died Aug. 19, 1662, Paris French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. The son of a mathematician, he was a child prodigy, earning the envy of René Descartes with an essay he wrote on… …   Universalium

  • Pascal, Blaise — (1623 1662)    mathematician, physicist, philosopher    Considered one of the great minds of Western intellectual history, Blaise Pascal was born in Clermont Ferrand. His father, who had early recognized his exceptional gifts, oversaw his… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Pascal, Blaise — (1623–62)    Mathematician and Theologian.    Pascal was born in Clermont Ferrand, France, and from an early age showed a remarkable talent for mathematics. In 1646 he first came into contact with Jansenism and in 1651 his sister Jacqueline… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Pascal , Blaise — (1623–1662) French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher Pascal was the son of a respected mathematician and a local administrator in Clermont Ferrand, France. Early in life Pascal displayed evidence that he was an infant prodigy… …   Scientists

  • Pascal, Blaise — (1623 1662)    A French poet, mathematician, natural philosopher, and mystic who suffered from recurring headaches, vertigo, and episodes of partial paresis of the limbs, as well as from visual disturbances which have traditionally been labelled… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • Pascal, Blaise — (1623–1662) French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. A mathematical prodigy, Pascal published his mathematical discoveries on the theory of conic sections at the age of sixteen. He invented the first practicable calculating machine, in… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Pascal, Blaise — (1623 62)    A French mathematician, philosopher and Christian apologist, Pascal became a defender of the Christian faith and, in particular, of its Jansenist form (against the Jesuits) after a religious experience in 1654 turned his primary… …   Christian Philosophy

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.