Archive for Pascal

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1588 – Mersenne – bio

Marin Mersenne was born in France in 1588 and studied theology, philosophy, mathematics and music. He is known for some of the first major contributions to acoustics and for his work compiling a list of large prime numbers by using the form 2^p – 1 where p is a known prime number. [raise 2 to […]

1838 – Mach – bio

Ernst Mach was born in 1838 in what was then part of Austria and now part of the Czech Republic. He was a physicist and philosopher and studied wave dynamics, fluid mechanics and shock waves. He was the first to study super-sonic motion. Multiples of the speed of sound are now designated by numbers named […]

1238 – Yang Hui – bio

Yang Hui was born in Zhejiang province in China in 1238 during the Song Dynasty and was a mathematician who was associated with a triangular array of numbers very similar to Pascals triangle. Just as Pascal did not invent the triangle, Yang Hui seems to have inherited the knowledge of the numbers from Jia Xian, […]

1596 – Descartes – bio

Rene Descartes was born in France in 1596. He is known as “the father of modern philosophy” and also contributed to mathematics and general science. The cartesian coordinate system is named for him and he created analytic geometry. He also did some work in the field of optics, with both refraction and reflection. Prior to […]

1623 – Pascal – bio

1623 - Pascal - bio

Blaise Pascal was born in 1623 in Clermont, France. He is mostly known as being an outstanding mathematician, but also was a physicist and philosopher. He made significant contributions to the areas of conic sections and projective geometry. Pascal’s triangle is a number matrix in the shape of a triangle with the numbers staggered so […]