His mother dead early in 1632 and he was left to be with his father and his sister. They family moved to Paris, where Pascal was educated by his father, showing precocious aptitude in science, mathematics and Latin.

When he was only 17, he wrote an essay on geometry that as world class. He founded the whole science of probabilities.

He followed his father back to provincial France in 1640, when the family settled in Rouen, and remained there for the next seven years.

Pascal did not remain idle, inspired by a desire to help his father with the time consuming mathematical calculations, Pascal invented the first mechanical calculation machine in 1642.

Pascal was the inventor of the barometer. He studied the region above the mercury, insisting that it was a vacuum.

After convincing his brother in-law to climb a mountain in France, he concluded that the height of the mercury in the thermometer dropped as the mountain was scaled, indicating that pressure decreases with altitude.

In 1647, Pascal published his

*Experiences nouvelles touchant le vide*; this was the summary of a series of experiments he conducted with Pierre Petit, using variously sized and shaped tube and different liquids.

He made significant contributions to mathematics, especially in the fields of geometry, number theory and probability theory and he also helped to describe the ‘esprit geometrique’ which characterized the new science of the 1650s.

Pascal had suffered from life-long ill-health and died at the age of 39 in Paris.

**Short biography of Blaise Pascal**