Institute and Museum of History of Science, Florence, ITALY

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Sound in the vacuum.
Robert Boyle, New Experiments Physico-Mechanicall, Touching the Spring of the Air and its Effects, Oxford 1660

Robert Boyle perfected the suction pump of von Guericke, thus encouraging experimentation on the weight of air and the vacuum. Boyle himself, using glass bell-jars emptied using the pump, performed a large number of fundamental experiments.
According to the supporters of the vacuum, the sound of a bell within a vacuum should not be audible. But the first experiments performed in the Torricellian tube seemed to demonstrate the opposite. Boyle was the first to show that, on emptying a bell-jar with a bell inside, one could no longer hear the sound.
Similar suggestions and values offered up other experiments, such as that of smoke, which goes down, not up, in the vacuum, and that of water, which boils at room temperature in the vacuum.



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