In 1631, Pascal liquidated his assets and moved the family to Paris so that
he could engage in his own mathematical and scientific studies with the help of the best minds in France. Etienne had
unusual educational views and educated his son with a unique method that relied on finding principles
rather than memorization. He designed a curriculum of languages, science, mathematics and geometry, with the intent on
preparing the young boy for a scientific career.
Blaise proved Euclid's theorems on his own by the age of twelve and attempted
his first thesis on acoustics as soon as he could write. Yet, it was his younger sister Jacqueline who became the family wonder.
Her gift for poetry garnered her a bit local renown and overshadowed her older brother's mathematical talents. By 1634, Etienne,
who was becoming a scientist of some prominence
and recipient of a royal commission to verify scientific discoveries, was introducing Blaise to the finest minds of the age
at the Paris Academy. These professionals discussed philosophy, mathematics, geometry and the Bible. There, Blaise met
the playwright Cornielle, the mathematician Fermat, and the philosopher Descartes.
At the age of 14 Blaise Pascal started to accompany his father to Mersenne's meetings. Mersenne belonged
to the religious order of the Minims and his small room in Paris was a frequent meeting place for Gassendi, Roberval,
Carcavi, Auzout, Mydorge, Mylon, Desargues and many others. By the age of 15, Blaise came to admire the work
When civil conflict threatened the family fortune in 1638, Etienne protested that the government
lacked involvement and consequently, was forced into hiding. While the Pascal family were in hiding, Pascal wrote his first mathematical piece on cones (a work now lost).
In 1639, Jacqueline's poetic pleas
on her father's behalf charmed the King and Cardinal Richelieu into giving Etienne a pardon and making him chief tax collector
in the unstable Normandy region. Etienne And Blaise, after a year of hiding, could return to Mersenne's meetings, which they
were forced to avoid the previous months. At the age of sixteen, Pascal presented a single piece of paper to one of Mersenne's
meetings in June 1639. It contained a number of projective geometry theorems, including Pascal's mystic hexagon.