## Answer

###### Wiki User

###### 04/25/2009

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. This problem and others
posed by de Méré led to an exchange of letters between Pascal and
Fermat in which the fundamental principles of probability theory
were formulated for the first time. Although a few special problems
on games of chance had been solved by some Italian mathematicians
in the 15th and 16th centuries, no general theory was developed
before this famous correspondence. The Dutch scientist Christian
Huygens, a teacher of Leibniz, learned of this correspondence and
shortly thereafter (in 1657) published the first book on
probability; entitled *De Ratiociniis in Ludo Aleae*, it was a
treatise on problems associated with gambling. Because of the
inherent appeal of games of chance, probability theory soon became
popular, and the subject developed rapidly during the 18th century.
The major contributors during this period were Jakob Bernoulli
(1654-1705) and Abraham de Moivre (1667-1754). In 1812 Pierre de
Laplace (1749-1827) introduced a host of new ideas and mathematical
techniques in his book, *Théorie Analytique des Probabilités*.
Before Laplace, probability theory was solely concerned with
developing a mathematical analysis of games of chance. Laplace
applied probabilistic ideas to many scientific and practical
problems. The theory of errors, actuarial mathematics, and
statistical mechanics are examples of some of the important
applications of probability theory developed in the l9th century.
Like so many other branches of mathematics, the development of
probability theory has been stimulated by the variety of its
applications. Conversely, each advance in the theory has enlarged
the scope of its influence. Mathematical statistics is one
important branch of applied probability; other applications occur
in such widely different fields as genetics, psychology, economics,
and engineering. Many workers have contributed to the theory since
Laplace's time; among the most important are Chebyshev, Markov, von
Mises, and Kolmogorov. **that is the history!!!!!!**