BLAISE PASCAL ~ a brief biographical sketch by ~ Carl J. Wenning
Blaise Pascal • French mathematician, philosopher, and religious figure • Born:Clermont on June 19, 1623 • Died: Paris on August 19, 1662
Most notable accomplishments • Pascal’s triangle for binomial expansion • Pascal’s principle - when there is an increase in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the container.
Vacuums & Barometers • Studied free space above mercury level in barometers - believed in vacuum • Showed through experiment that air pressure decreases with increasing height
Pascal’s Vases • In his investigations of the barometer, he found that the height to which the mercury rose in a vessel was the same regardless of shape.
Pascal’s Wager • First use of truth table • A single paragraph of Pensees • The best possible consequence that a atheist can hope for is the worst possible situation an theist can attain. Ergo, it is better to believe.