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Born in 1623 in Clermont Ferrand, France, in the cradle of a family of magistrates, the young Blaise Pascal had been encouraged from early on to study by his father, who was very interested in mathematical sciences.
At the age of eight, he was transferred to Paris, receiving teachings from the leading scholars of his day.
At the age of twelve, he was formulating, without the aid of books, the first propositions of Euclidean geometry. At sixteen he wrote a treatise on transverse conic sections and at eighteen he invented the first calculating machine.
When he was twenty-three years old, Pierre Petit was encouraged to reproduce Torricelli's experiments on atmospheric pressure, demonstrating that at the top of the barometer there was something approaching the vacuum, which contradicted the accepted theory for thousands of years that "Nature has a horror of vacuum."
Pascal believed that reality surpassed in every way the possible weaknesses of reason, and that it is necessary to interrogate nature, that is, experience combined with reasoning is what allows us to understand physical phenomena.
He also stood out for knowing how to combine practical spirit with his theoretical reasoning. In addition to the invention of the calculating machine, he was the first to propose bus service (which at the time were large carriages) as public transport, for example. He also designed pulley systems that would allow a child to draw 130 kilograms of water from a well.
In the last years of his brief life, Blaise Pascal abandoned almost all his scientific activities, working only when the intervals of his illness allowed it. He retired to the monastery of Port Royal, where he died on August 19, 1662, at the age of thirty-nine.