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Blaise Pascal (Pascal Blaise)

( French religious thinker, mathematician and physicist, one of the greatest minds of 17 century.)

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Biography Blaise Pascal (Pascal Blaise)
photo Blaise Pascal (Pascal Blaise)
Born in Clermont-Ferrand (Auvergne), 19 June 1623. Pascal's mother died in 1626. His father, Etienne, chosen by the royal advisor, and later second president of the Chamber of charges in Clermont, a connoisseur of mathematics and astronomy, he moved to Paris with her children in 1631. After leaving the service, he devoted himself to education, Blaise and his two sisters - Gilberte (1620-1685), in the future a brilliant biographer, Pascal, and Jacqueline (1625-1661), an elegant and talented girls of the same miracle-child, like her brother. Etienne Blaise restrained from engaging in mathematics, believing that such a complex study of science should begin in 15-16 years. However, the gift the boy demanded manifestations, . and in 12 years, he independently, . using their own vocabulary and diagrams, . which drew in a room for games, . come to some geometric conclusions and tried (not being familiar with the beginning) to construct a proof of 32-th of the first book of Euclid's theorem: the sum of the angles of a triangle equals the sum of two right angles,
. After that, his father allowed him to read Euclid, and took to the meeting's scientific circles, who wanted a Mersenne. The boy grew very rapidly and soon to equal discussed scientific problems with the major scientists of his time. In the 16 years he wrote a wonderful experience on the conic sections (Essai pour les coniques), . containing theorem (now known as Pascal's theorem), . according to which at least hexagon ( 'mystical shestivershinnike'), . inscribed in an ellipse, . hyperbola or parabola, . point of intersection of three pairs of opposite sides lie on a straight,
Meanwhile, due to precocious poetry and acting abilities Jacqueline charmed Parisian salons, where gathered educated society, distinguished urbane, but far from adhering to the strict rules of morality. In 1639 Stephen was appointed intendant and 'authorized by His Majesty in Upper Normandy for the imposition and collection of taxes, as well as other things', and later the children joined him in Rouen. To facilitate father consuming financial calculations, Blaise invented a machine that could add and subtract, and move the numbers in the next level and calculate the total amounts. Designed for a few years around 50 samples of arithmetical machine, Blaise in 1649 received a royal privilege for his invention - 'Paskaleva wheel'. Machine in its final form was placed in a small oblong box and was easy to work. Gilbert summarized the work of his brother, saying that he 'brought to the mechanism of science that existed entirely in the human mind'.

In 1646 Etienne, slipped and dislocated his hip. During his two brothers, caring doctor, . ardent followers of the Abbe de Saint-Cyr (1581-1643), . one time, the spiritual head of the monastery of Port Royal and the first representative in France theology of Cornelius Jansen: on the strength of their original sinful depravity of man can be saved, . only relying on the grace, . which, . however, . descend only on selected,
. As Jansenism movement sought to reform the Catholic Church and to reinstate the Augustinian doctrine of predestination and grace. In pursuit of absolute truth that science, apparently, was not able to achieve, and under the influence of Jansenist Pascal spiritually transformed (TN. 'first inversion' Pascal). Native, his enthusiastic zeal, soon became a devout Christian. Effect Blaise was very strong, Jacqueline decided to become a nun, a decision she finally implemented in 1653. As for the Blaise, then, continuing to engage in scientific experiments, he was not yet ready to retire from the world.

Fascinated by physics, Pascal plays and continues some experiments Torricelli (1608-1647). Torricelli filled a long glass tube with mercury, blocked at one end, covered the hole with his finger and tossed up an open end in a cup with mercury. When a hole opened, the mercury in the tube dropped to a certain height and then remained at this level. Torricelli explained that the air pressure at the open surface of mercury in the cup.

Pascal enthusiastically accepted for further experiments in an attempt to generalize the findings Torricelli. He used a tube of different forms, filling them with different liquids and organize public demonstrations. However, excessive zeal led to a serious ailment. In 1647 Pascal returned to Paris, met with Rene Descartes, and issued a new experience of the emptiness (Expriences nouvelles touchant le vuide). In late 1647 he asked his son-Florent Perrier, a barometric test the foot and on top of the mountain Puy-de-DцЄme, overlooking the Clermont-Ferrand. These famous experiments carried out only in September 1648, paved the way for systematic research in the field of hydrodynamics and hydrostatics, which destroyed the old idea that nature is 'afraid' of emptiness. In the course of these experiments, Pascal has done a number of inventions (eg, syringe and hydraulic press) and make improvements in the design of the barometer. Hydraulic press acted on the basis of physical law, first formulated by Pascal and bearing his name: the action of surface forces pressure at all points inside the liquid equally.

The most profound scientific work of Pascal's treatise on the emptiness, has not been published, after his death were found only fragments of. Being a brilliant defense of scientific progress, calling for the autonomy of science in relation to philosophy and asserting the value of rigorous experimental method, this work also contains the idea that 'man is designed to infinity'.

In the years devoted to intensive research, Pascal showed strong commitment to realism, which distinguished it from Descartes, who preferred mainly abstract methods of mathematics and former rationalist. For Pascal's mind should be fully subject to the facts. Acutely aware of the importance of the concrete, he has never been prone to excessive theorizing:, the subject should always be to try and make a tangible.

In 1651 Etienne Pascal died. Jacqueline, breaking exhortations brother, became a nun in the monastery of Port Royal, and Blaise, eventually resigned from her choice of being alone. His exasperated long illnesses, and doctors insisted on the need for rest. Following three years of his life called secular, or worldly, period. We know little about this time. Pascal became friendly with the Duke of Arthus Gufe de Roannets, priyatelstvoval with agnostics and Epicureans, the Swedish Queen Christina sent his car and even wrote her a letter in which he expounded the idea of the primacy of intelligence. It was believed that during this period, Pascal invented the talk about passion, but today hardly anyone ascribes to him the treatise.

When power restored, Pascal resumed scientific researches. In this period the Treatise on the equilibrium of fluids and Treatise on the weight of air mass (Traits de l'quilibre des liqueurs et de la psanteur de la masse de l'air, publ. in 1663). In correspondence with the famous mathematician Pierre Fermat (1601-1665), he discusses the problem of chance offered by his friends, gamblers Chevalier de Mere and Mittonom. To this period belong to the treatise on the arithmetic triangle (Trait du triangle arithmtique avec quelques autres petits traits sur la mme matire, 1654, issued in 1665) and other minor works. In them, he continued to talk about conic sections and the fundamentals of probability theory.

Yet his mind was not free from doubt and could not be satisfied with science. At night, Nov. 23, 1654, 'approximately ten and a half in the evening until half past midnight', it occurred an internal coup. Marching into mystical contact with God, he withdrew from worldly affairs and devoted himself to Jesus Christ. His experience, he secretly recorded (first on a scrap of paper, parchment, then adding a few lines), and the record was found after the death of Pascal's sewn into the lining of his coat. This 'Memorial' (or 'Amulet Pascal'), entitled FEU (fire), is a unique account of mystical experience.

Letters to a provincial.


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