Blaise Pascal Essay

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Blaise Pascal

"We arrive at truth, not by reason only, but also by the heart"(1) said Blaise Pascal, one of the greatest minds of the 17th Century. The 17th Century was the time of the scientific revolution. During this period the main idea for everyone, was to question everything not to just listen to what is told. This caused a transformation in thought in both religious and scientific areas. Science allowed the questioning of the teachings of the old church. Scientists battled with ideas in math and physics, while philosophers battled with ideas of God. It was an intellectual revolution concerning the methods for determining humanity's place in the universe. Blaise Pascal was a physicist, a mathematician, and a man of God. He was a
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It was a discovery Pascal would make at a later date. At the tender age of 16, Pascal had already made a significant discovery in the math world with his "Mystical Hexagram" and Pascal’s theorem. He projected these ideas in the form of Essai pour les coniques (essay on Conics). This was his first major math work. In 1642, Pascal began work on inventing the first mechanical adding machine. His first attempts were failures and he was discouraged. He stopped working on the adding machine. But as all great minds do, they never give up and, in 1644, Pascal with encouragement from his father and friends went back to the adding machine. In early 1645, Pascal finished the adding machine. He started production of the adding machine, but only produced fifty of them due to the extravagant cost of making them. Pascal stopped on his mathematical works until 1654, when he wrote Then Generation of Conic Sections. In 1654, Pascal also started work on the Arithmetical Triangle. In doing so he started correspondence with Fermat, another mathematician. In this correspondence with Fermat (which consisted of five letters during the summer of 1954) he laded the foundation for the theory of probability. The basis for this discussion was a dice problem, which had already studied by Cardan. The dice problem asks how many times one must throw a pair of dice before one expects a double six. The problem of points asks how to divide the
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