Institute and Museum of History of Science, Florence, ITALY

                      The main characters                   
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) Jean Rey (1582-ca. 1645) Michelangelo Ricci (1619-1682)

Born at Le Bugue, he studied Medicine at Montpellier, graduating in 1609. We know hardly anything of his life or his professional activities, even though they were held in high regard by his contemporaries.
In 1630, Rey published the work which gave him his place in the history of chemistry. In the Essays on the cause of the increase in weight of tin and lead when they calcinate, the French doctor explained the greater weight of two materials (tin and lead) when they are heated. Rey attributed the phenomenon to the "weight" of air - rendered in turn more dense, heavy and, to some extent, sticky by the prolonged action of heating - which joined itself to the natural weight of lead and tin.
Rey's research, in addition to heralding Lavoisier's conclusions on the crucial role of air in the process of calcination, confirmed the thesis of the weight of air, on an axis closer to chemical investigation, which was fundamental for the development of the modern barometer a decade later.




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