Blaise Pascal


Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662)

Born in Clermont-Ferrand (France), the young Pascal was introduced to mathematics and physics by his father. So precocious was his talent in these disciplines that he published his innovative Essai pour les coniques [Essay on conics] in 1632, at only sixteen. In 1631, he moved to Paris, where he frequented the intellectual circle of Marin Mersenne (1588-1648)—a forum for the discussion of the most topical scientific and philosophical questions. In 1644, he became interested in the technological aspects of scientific research, devising a calculating machine that could perform additions and subtractions. In 1646, he conducted path-breaking research on the vacuum and fluid dynamics. He devoted two major works to fluids—Équilibre des liqueurs [Equilibrium of liquids] and De la pesanteur de la masse d’air [On the weight of the mass of air]—written in 1651-1654, but not published until 1663. In 1653-1654, he composed some brief but seminal papers on combinatory calculus, infinitesimal calculus, and probability. Pascal repeated Evangelista Torricelli’s experiment, using various liquids and containers of different shapes and sizes. This research, in addition to the publication of Expériences nouvelles touchant le vide [New experiments on the vacuum], culminated in the famous experiment performed in 1648 on the Puy-de-Dôme, in which he demonstrated that atmospheric pressure lessens with an increase in altitude.

In parallel with his scientific pursuits, Pascal displayed a deep and abiding concern with religious and moral issues. In his youth, he espoused Jansenism and began to frequent the Port-Royal group. These contacts form the background to the Lettres provinciales (1656-1657) and the Pensées (published posthumously in 1670).

I had to lay this out before I continued to speak to the world Lubos motl directs us too. In a way, these mathematical pursuance and comprehensions, are revealing, when they speak to the greater probability of discovering the root systems mathematically as well as philosophically. Cases in point, about compaction scenarios are self explanatory when it comes to energy determination and particle reductionism . This relationship to idealization of supergravity, points thinking to a vast overall comprehension suited to the culminations of a model employed such as string theory?

But back to the point of focus here.

Earlier derivation of Pascal’s thinking, “are roads that even he was lead too,” that we have this fine way in which to speak about the root of mathematical initiative, and these roots leading to mathematical forays into the natural world.


Diagram 6. Khu Shijiei triangle, depth 8, 1303.

The so called ‘Pascal’ triangle was known in China as early as 1261. In ‘1261 the triangle appears to a depth of six in Yang Hui and to a depth of eight in Zhu Shijiei (as in diagram 6) in 1303. Yang Hui attributes the triangle to Jia Xian, who lived in the eleventh century’ (Stillwell, 1989, p136). They used it as we do, as a means of generating the binomial coefficients.

It wasn’t until the eleventh century that a method for solving quadratic and cubic equations was recorded, although they seemed to have existed since the first millennium. At this time Jia Xian ‘generalised the square and cube root procedures to higher roots by using the array of numbers known today as the Pascal triangle and also extended and improved the method into one useable for solving polynomial equations of any degree’ (Katz, 1993, p191.)


See I am somewhat starting with a disadvantage because buried in my head is the reasons for describing math more then it’s intuitionist valuation in computer generated idealizations. It all of a sudden brings into perspective a deeper sense of the possibilities and probabilities?

Here I am quickly reminded of Gerard t’hooft, and the thinking, about reductionistic views of information in computerized versions. Philosophically how can we have reduced information to such sizes and find the world a much more complex place. Would we not realize that such intuitionist attempts too have to undergo revisions as well?

A Short History of Probability

A gambler’s dispute in 1654 led to the creation of a mathematical theory of probability by two famous French mathematicians, Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat. Antoine Gombaud, Chevalier de Méré, a French nobleman with an interest in gaming and gambling questions, called Pascal’s attention to an apparent contradiction concerning a popular dice game. The game consisted in throwing a pair of dice 24 times; the problem was to decide whether or not to bet even money on the occurrence of at least one “double six” during the 24 throws. A seemingly well-established gambling rule led de Méré to believe that betting on a double six in 24 throws would be profitable, but his own calculations indicated just the opposite.

Shall we quickly advantage to a age of reason where understand well the beginnings of mathematical systems and lead into Boltzman? But before I do that, I wanted to drawn attention to the deeper significance of this model appreciation.

Discovering Patterns

While we get some understanding here of what Pascal’s triangle really is you learn to sense the idea of what culd have ever amounted to expressionand this beginning? Did nature tell us it will be this way, or some other form of expression?

So overall the probability of expressionism has devloped the cncptual basis as arriving from soem place and not nothing. True enough, what is this basis of existance that we would have a philosphical war between the background versus non background to end up in stauch positional attitudes about how one should approach science here?

So to me, I looked for analogies again to help me understand this idea of what could have ever arisen out of string theory that conceptually mad esense . Had a way in which to move forward, with predictable features? Is their sucha things dealing with the amount of information that we have in reductionsitic views. These views had to come to a end, and I will deal with this later.

Of course now such idealization dealng with probabilties off course, forces me to contend with what has always existed and helps deal with this cyclcial nature. You have to assume soemthing first. That will be the start of the next post.

But back to finishing this notion of probability and how the natural order of the universe would have said folow this way young flower, that we coud seen expansionism will not only be detailled in the small things, but will be the universe, in it’s expression as well?


The Pinball Game

The result is that the pinball follows a random path, deflecting off one pin in each of the four rows of pins, and ending up in one of the cups at the bottom. The various possible paths are shown by the gray lines and one particular path is shown by the red line. We will describe this path using the notation “LRLL” meaning “deflection to the left around the first pin, then deflection right around the pin in the second row, then deflection left around the third and fourth pins”.

So what has happened here to force us to contend with certain issues that the root numbers of all things could have manifested, and said, “nature shall be this way?”


Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906)

In 1877 Boltzmann used statistical ideas to gain valuable insight into the meaning of entropy. He realized that entropy could be thought of as a measure of disorder, and that the second law of thermodynamics expressed the fact that disorder tends to increase. You have probably noticed this tendency in everyday life! However, you might also think that you have the power to step in, rearrange things a bit, and restore order. For example, you might decide to tidy up your wardrobe. Would this lead to a decrease in disorder, and hence a decrease in entropy? Actually, it would not. This is because there are inevitable side-effects: whilst sorting out your clothes, you will be breathing, metabolizing and warming your surroundings. When everything has been taken into account, the total disorder (as measured by the entropy) will have increased, in spite of the admirable state of order in your wardrobe. The second law of thermodynamics is relentless. The total entropy and the total disorder are overwhelmingly unlikely to decrease

So what has happened that we see the furthest reaches of our universe? Such motivation having been initiated, had been by some motivator. Shall you call it intelligent design(God) when it is very natural process that had escaped our reasoning minds?

So having reached it’s limitation(boundry) this curvature of the universe, has now said, “such disorder having reached it’s reductionistic views has now found it’s way back to the beginning of this universe’s expression? It’s cyclical nature?

This runs “contray to the arrow of time,” in that these holes, have somehow fabricated form in another mode of thought that represents dimensional values? This basis from which to draw from, had to have energy valuations missing fromthe original expression? It had to have gone some place. Where is that?

But I have digressed greatly, to have missed the point of Robert Lauglin’s principals, “of building blocks or drunk sergeant majors”, and what had been derived from the energy in it’s beginning? To say the complexity of those things around us had to returned our thinking back to some concept that was palitable.

Why the graduation to ISCAP, and Lenny’s new book, is the right thing to do

(LEONARD SUSSKIND🙂 What I mostly think about is how the world got to be the way it is. There are a lot of puzzles in physics. Some of them are very, very deep, some of them are very, very strange, and I want to understand them. I want to understand what makes the world tick. Einstein said he wanted to know what was on God’s mind when he made the world. I don’t think he was a religious man, but I know what he means.

The thing right now that I want to understand is why the universe was made in such a way as to be just right for people to live in it. This is a very strange story. The question is why certain quantities that go into our physical laws of nature are exactly what they are, and if this is just an accident. Is it an accident that they are finely tuned, precisely, sometimes on a knife’s edge, just so that the world could accommodate us?

This entry was posted in Analogies, Boltzmann, Complexity, Einstein, Entropy, Game Theory, Ludwig Boltzmann, Mathematics, Nothing, Pascal, String Theory, Susskind. Bookmark the permalink.

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