Apart from mathematics, Pascal made great progress in the field of physics, and in the second part of his life he devoted himself especially to philosophy and theology.
On June 19, 1623, Blaise Pascal, a famous French thinker, was born. He was born in the city of Clermont-Ferrand, located in the province of Auvergne in central France. His father Étienne was a local judge and tax collector with an interest in science and mathematics. Blaise Pascal proved to be a kind of miracle of a child, because already at a young age he came to conclusions in mathematical terms that went beyond the reasoning of most adults.
He published his first work in the field of mathematics, on the topic of cones (the common name for ellipses, parabolas and hyperbolas), at the age of 17. He dealt with geometry, number theory, infinitesimal calculus, etc. To help his father calculate the amount of tax, in 1645 he made the first digital computer (a machine that could add and subtract large numbers), similar in construction to 1640 mechanical computers. Teaching games of chance, he developed probability theory, and in geometry he performed the first partial integration.
Apart from mathematics, Pascal made great progress in the field of physics, and in the second part of his life he devoted himself especially to philosophy and theology. He found that the pressure at higher altitudes was lower and concluded that there was a vacuum above the atmosphere. In a theological sense, he adhered to Jansenism, a Catholic religious movement that, based on Augustine’s teaching on original sin, downplayed the influence of man’s free will, emphasizing the action of God’s grace and seeking rigor in piety. Pascal sharply criticized the Jesuits for their indulgence and loose morals, but gave up further polemics after the pope threatened to excommunicate him.
He died at the age of only 39, but it is not known exactly from which disease (perhaps it was a combination of several health problems), and he was buried in the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, not far from the famous Paris Sorbonne. The University of Clermont-Ferrand today bears the name Université Blaise-Pascal in honor of the great scientist. In addition, the computer language Pascal is named after Pascal and his computer machine.