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BLAISE PASCAL Blaise Pascal was born in France in 1623 He was the third child and only son of Etienne Pascal His mother died when he was a baby so Blaise was raised and educated at home by his father His father decided that he did not want Blaise to study mathematics before he turned 15 and got rid of all of the math books in their house However Blaise was very interested in mathematics and started to work on geometry by himself at the age of 12 At the age of 14 Blaise started going with his father to some meetings of a religious group that also studied mathematics This got him even more interested and by the age of 16 Blaise was presenting geometric theorems to members of the group This was also the time that the family moved to another part of France where the father got a job as a tax collector To help his father with his work collecting taxes Blaise invented the first digital calculator after working on it for three years The calculator was called a Pascaline and was the second mechanical calculator made However the calculator had a lot of problems because the French money was not in even units for division Only about 50 of the machines were sold before they stopped making them In 1646 a lot of events happened that had a later effect on Blaise Pascal His father hurt his leg and had to be looked after at home by two brothers from a religious movement They had a great influence on Blaise and he became very religious At this same time he began a lot of experiments on atmospheric pressure His views were opposite those of Descartes another famous mathematician and they argued quite a bit about atmospheric pressure and vacuums Blaises father died in
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