1608 – Torricelli – bio

Evangelista Torricelli was born in Italy in 1608 and was a mathematician, astronomer and physicist, mainly known for inventing the barometer. He advanced Galileo’s work on the trajectory of projectiles and worked on rotating shapes around an axis to create three dimensional figures. This helped him create extensions to Cavalieri’s method of indivisibles. “Torricelli’s theorem” related to liquid flow helped create the field of hydrodynamics.

Galileo had proposed that water pumps failed at an elevation of 34 feet because of some involvement with vacuum. Berti designed an experiment to test this theory using water. Before Torricelli, it was generally accepted that air did have any weight. But he challenged that idea and invented the mercury barometer to show that air created a pressure from it’s weight. Mercury was used instead of water because it’s greater density allowed the instrument to be 32 inches in length instead of 34 feet.

PRECURSOR:
-0262 – Apollonius
-0287 – Archimedes
0085 – Ptolemy
1206 – suction pump
1473 – Copernicus
1546 – Brahe

CONCURRENT:
1564 – Galileo
1571 – Kepler
1588 – Mersenne
1596 – Descartes
1598 – Cavalieri
1601 – Fermat
1623 – Pascal
1627 – Boyle
1643 – barometer

SUBSEQUENT:
1650 – vacuum pump
1854 – mercury vacuum pump

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