Institute and Museum of History of Science, Florence, ITALY

                    The main characters                  
Isaac Beeckman (1588-1637) Gasparo Berti (1600 -1643) Robert Boyle (1627-1691)

Experiment by Gaspare Berti in the Minim Convent at Pincio.
Gaspar Schott, Technica curiosa, sive, Mirabilia artis, Würzburg 1664



Probably a native of Mantova, he passed most of his life in Rome. He was extremely active in the scientific coterie of the papal city, establishing contact and working with such figures as Luca Holstein, Athanasius Kircher and Raffaello Magiotti. In 1643, on the death of Benedetto Castelli, he was nominated his successor to the chair of mathematics at the Sapienza (the university of Rome), but the experience did not last long, as he died the same year.
Berti's research are of particular importance for their close relationship with the work of Evangelista Torricelli on atmospheric pressure. Between 1640 and 1643, Berti was involved in the development of various experimental instruments, designed to test empirically the level of ascent of water within a syphon, which had been fixed by Galileo at 18 braccia (around 11 metres). In a letter to Marin Mersenne in March, 1648, Raffaello Magiotti describes a large "lead syphon" around 22 braccia long which Berti had set up in the courtyard of his house. According to Magiotti, Berti, using the results of his experiments, managed to deny the truth of the galileian conclusions.
From reports by Athanasius Kircher and Gaspar Schott, we can obtain more news on the experiments conducted by Berti in order to reveal the real presence of the vacuum in the barometric tube.





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