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Blaise Pascal

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Pascal, looking bored

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a French physicist, mathematician and religious philosopher, who made important advancements in the field of hydrodynamics (Pascal's principle), probability theory, geometry, and created Pascal's Wager, a Christian apologetics argument. The SI unit of pressure (newtons per square meter) and a programming language are named after him. Pascal's triangleWikipedia's W.svg is a useful tool in applying the binomial theorem and anything else that might use the binomial notation. He made a number of important discoveries about the cycloid.[1]

He was the author of Experiences nouvelles touchant le vide (1647) about barometric pressure and Provincal Letters where he defends the JansenismWikipedia's W.svg movement.[2]

He was also working on a book called Pensées , however he died before he could finish the book. It was supposed to be an argument for Christianity. It was never refuted according to apologists, but that's probably because he never even finished the book before apologists decided to piece together some notes he made.

All things considered, Pascal was an intellectual of the highest caliber, but was held back by an unfortunate combination of ill health and a tendency towards mysticism.[1]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ball, W. W. Rouse. A Short Account of the History of Mathematics. 4th ed., Dover Publications, Inc., 1908.
  2. Oregon State University: Blaise Pascal
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