Math & Beyond

Blaise Pascal | Great French Mathematician

20th Oct '202 views5 mins read

20 October  2020

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Introduction

Ever wondered why is Blaise Pascal so famous?

Blaise Pascal was a French Mathematician, Physcist, inventor, Philosopher, writer and theologist. This blog tells us about his life, inventions, and different areas of interest. 

Also read:


How Blaise Pascal spent his early life?

Blaise Pascal was born on 19th June 1623 in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He was born to Etienne Pascal and Antoinette Begon. He lost his mother when he was three years old.

He had two siblings. His father was a local judge, and he had an interest in Science and Mathematics. He educated his children well, and they all showed outstanding intellectual ability, particularly his son Pascal.

Like his father, Pascal also showed a fantastic aptitude for Mathematics and Science, which later paved the way for groundbreaking discoveries and inventions.


Work in Mathematics

He began to study geometry on his own at the age of 12. He started presenting papers at the age of 16, mainly on mathematical concepts and presented projective geometry theorems, including Pascal’s hexagon theorem. Pascal published his first work,”

Essay on conic sections”, in February 1640.

Pascal’s Triangle

It is a triangle array of numbers, mainly binomial coefficients that are placed in each array.

In Pascal’s triangle, there is a unique quality that each number is the sum of the two numbers directly above it.

Pascal’s triangle Image

 
Probability

Probability theory is one of the famous problems in the 17th century. Pascal is the first person to give explicit reason for expected value, which is the fundamental term for probability theory.

It has applications in many real-life situations.

Mainly in game theory to determine the chance of winning and minimize the expected loss.

Cycloid

The cycloid has been called “The Helen of Geometers.” Pascal’s last work was this cycloid,”a curve traced by a point on the circumference of the rolling circle.”


Work in Physics

Pascal contributed to various fields in Physics, mainly in fluid mechanics. His work in the field of hydrodynamics and hydrostatics centered on the principles of hydraulic fluids. His Physics inventions are many, few are hydraulic press, syringe, etc., and

had impacted vacuum and atmospheric pressure.

In honor of his scientific contribution, the SI unit of pressure is called Pascal. 


Literature ,Religion and Philosophy

Pascal showed not only great interest in mathematics and science but also expressed a passion for literature, philosophy, and religion. 

In literature, Pascal is regarded as one of the most influential authors of the French classical period. His work made a huge impact and influenced the prose of later French writers. His important literary work includes ‘ Provincial letters’ Pascal’s use of

humor, mockery, and vicious satire in his healthy argument made the letter more popular among the public.

Pascal clubbed religion and philosophy together.

He argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God.

Pascal’s wager was based on the idea of the Christian God, though similar arguments were made in various traditions.

Pascal was known to be a well-established philosopher. He raised his voice on opposing rationalism. He cared only about the philosophy of religion. Pascal gives a pragmatic reason for the existence of God. He argues that if we do not know God exists,

we should play it safe rather than risk being sorry.


How did Pascal die?

Pascal had struggled with insomnia and a digestive disorder from his teenage. His constant work without taking care of his health made his body more fragile.  Pascal died of a malignant stomach tumor on August 19, 1662. It got metastasized in his brain also.

Though he died, his discoveries and inventions in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science helped many upcoming scientists in their inventions.


What is a Pascal Unit?

The Pascal’s unit defined by the symbol Pa is the SI derived unit of pressure used to quantify internal pressure, stress, Young’s modulus, and tensile strength. This unit is defined as one newton per square meter.


Conversion of units

Conversion of pascal to various units

The most frequently used units of pressure are

pascal (pa),

kilopascal(kpa),

megapascal(mpa),

psi(pound per square inch),

atm(atmospheric pressure

Atm to pascal

1atm = 101325 pascals

Pa to atm

1 pascal = 0.000009869 atm

kPa to atm

1kpa = 0.00986923atm

Atm to kPa

1atm = 101.325 kPa

Bar to Pa

1 bar = 100000 Pa

Pa to bar

1 Pa = 0.00001 bar

Pa to N/m2  and N/m2 to Pa

1 pascal = 1 N/m2

1N/m2  = 1 pascal


Summary

Did you realise the contribution of Blaise Pascal?

Though Pascal lived a short life, his inventions and discoveries are still applicable, and many researchers are even applying it in various fields. This blog is just a brief account of Pascal. It covers his most significant work and contributions to the world of science. 


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FAQs

What is a Pascal?

The word Pascal stands for SI unit of pressure equal to one newton per square meter named after French mathematician Blaise Pascal.

 What is Pascal famous for?

Pascal is a pioneer in the field of Mathematics, Physics, philosophy, literature, theology, etc., his work in fluid statics and dynamics have had a significant influence on fluid mechanics studied today. 

Give few Pascal’s inventions?

Pascal’s inventions include Pascal’s calculator, Mechanical calculator, Adding machine. 

Did Pascal Believe in God?

Blaise Pascal dealt with everything practically, and he gives a pragmatic reason for existence and belief in God.

How to convert atm to Pa?

Atm to pascal
1atm = 101325 pascals

What is Pascal in SI units?

1 pascal = 1 N/m2
1N/m2  = 1 pascal


External References

 


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