Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Blaise Pascal (1625-1662) was a french scientist, mathematician, and physicist. He invented an early calculator that was highly advanced for its time. At an early age Pascal was considered a child protege with this advanced math and communications skills. At age 12 he composed a treatise on the communication of sounds and at age 16 he composed a treatise on conic sections.


Pascals early calculator was one of the ones that could do additions, subtraction, multiplication and division. At age 16 he invented a numerical wheel calculator. It was called the Pascaline and it helped his father count taxes (his father was a french tax collector).


Pascal also came up with Pascal's line, Pascal's theorem, and Pascal's Triangle. He also invented a hydraulic press.

The Pascaline had eight movable dials that added up to eight figured long sums. They used a base of ten and when the first dial (one's column) moved ten notches, the second dial moved one notch to represent the ten's column reading of 10 .If the ten dial moved ten notches the third dial (hundred's column) moved one notch to represent one hundred. This process continued.


Sources -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaise_Pascal

http://www.timelineindex.com/content/view/1245

Pictures

http://www.easypedia.gr/el/images/shared/3/38/Blaise_Pascal.jpeg

http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~fabio/teaching/cs4-winter07/notes/01_intro/pascaline1.gif

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