Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte
nell'Accademia del Cimento, Florence 1666, frontispiece.
Experiment of smoke in the vacuum.
Saggi di naturali esperienze
fatte nell'Accademia del Cimento, Florence 1666
Founded by Prince Leopoldo de’
Medici and the Grand-duke Ferdinando II in 1657, the Academy resolved
to test a series of principles of natural philosophy which up till
then had been commonly accepted solely on the basis of the authority
of Aristotle. They proposed to follow Galileo's example, and use only
rigorous experimentation as their guide.
Amongst the members of the Academy, which
had no formal system charter, one notes Vincenzo Viviani, Giovanni
Alfonso Borelli, Francesco Redi, Carlo Renaldini. The Secretary of
the Academy was Lorenzo Magalotti. The Academy met sporadically, and
concluded its work in 1667 with the publication of the Saggi di
naturali esperienze (Florence, 1667), in which the principal fruits
of their experimental labour over the decade of their activity were
The most important results were achieved
in the fields of thermometry, barometry, studies on the vacuum and
observations concerning Saturn.
The experiments of the Academicians on phenomena
linked to air pressure, in particular, played a considerable role
in the demolition of the traditional opinion of nature's abhorrence
of the void. The experimental demonstrations relevant to pneumatics
take up more than forty pages of the Saggi di naturali esperienze:
only some of these experiments are absolutely original, while the
others replicate experiments either thought up, or performed, by other