Perhaps the name of Blaise Pascal does not tell you much at first, but surely when you have finished reading this article you will have changed your mind and you will even want to delve into the large number of writings that he has left for posterity. Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher who laid the foundations for modern probability theory and fluid mechanics. He was also a prolific inventor and thinker, whose inventions and ideas are still strongly felt today. Thus, on his own merits, Pascal has earned a deserved place in our section of biographies and lives.
Roulette, the first balanced game of chance for the player
One of the most curious and popular inventions of Blaise Pascal was, without a doubt, the roulette wheel. The most curious thing is that roulette was not what this French genius was initially looking for in his research. Pascal was trying to create a perpetual motion machine (a device that never stopped its movement once it started) … and ended up getting roulette, the popular game of chance whose main attraction is simplicity, as explained in Betway roulette . A curious fact is that Pascal’s roulette was a ruin for the casinos, since there was no zero, the most feared square by players, since if the ball lands on it, the bank wins the play. For the introduction of zero in roulette we would have to wait until the middle of the 19th century, but that is another story.
Pascalina, the first calculator based on gears and wheels
It was 1642 when Blaise Pascal invented the first mechanical calculator in history to help his father, a mathematician and tax collector by profession. Pascaline, as the invention was called, allowed for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Different models were built to perform calculations with numbers of five, six and eight figures. Although, in comparison with modern Casio calculators, Pascal’s invention seems obsolete, we cannot ignore that we are talking about a revolutionary creation in the middle of the 16th century. Furthermore, pascaline could be considered as the precursor device of the modern computer of today.
The syringe, one of the essential instruments of modern medicine
Around 1650, Blaise Pascal created the first syringe as a result of the application of his theory of fluid mechanics, known today as Pascal’s principle or law. With this invention, Pascal wanted to test his hypothesis that the pressure exerted on any point in a confined fluid ends up being transmitted homogeneously in all directions. Despite the revolutionary nature of its creation, without whose existence the mere existence of current medicine would be impossible, it would take until the 19th century for the concept of the modern needle to be added to Pascal’s invention.
The pascal, pressure unit in honor of the French genius
In honor of the studies carried out by Pascal in the field of physics, the XIV General Conference of Weights and Measures of 1971 decided to adopt the name of pascal (pa) as the unit of measurement of the International System (SI) and it was defined as a newton per square meter. The honor that your name is going to be used by all the people who need to talk about pressure or perform physical calculations is a privilege reserved for great scientific geniuses in history, such as Newton or Pascal. In the case of Pascal, it is a deserved recognition of a lifetime dedicated to the search for knowledge and the development of the scientific method.
In short, Blaise Pascal was one of the greatest geniuses of modernity, a tireless seeker of progress and truth who enthusiastically applied himself to the creation of all kinds of inventions and left us creations as useful and popular in our day as the roulette, calculator, syringe or pascal. He is a multifaceted figure who touched multiple fields of knowledge with a spirit typical of the Renaissance, a genius who will never be relegated to oblivion.