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ORIGINS OF MODERNITY

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Guericke, Otto von (1602-1686)
Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) magdeburgica de vacuo spatio primm R.P. Gaspare Schotto ... nunc ver ab ipso auctore perfectis edita, variisque aliis experimentis aucta. Quibus accesserunt simul certa qudam de aris pondere circa terram; de virtutibus mundanis, & systemate mundi planetario; sicut & de stellis fixis, ac spatio illo immenso, quod tm intra quam extra eas funditur.
Amstelodami : apud Joannem Janssonium Waesberge, 1672.

Image from von Guericke's Experimenta nova

Otto von Guericke (1602-86) was the burgomaster of Magdeburg, Germany, who performed a number of very important experiments on the nature of the air. The most famous is depicted here, involving two teams of eight horses trying to separate two evacuated copper hemispheres. His book Experimenta nova appeared in 1672, but his work on the air had earlier been described by Gaspar Schott's Mechanica hydraulico-pneumatica (1657). It was Schott's description of von Guericke's airpump that inspired Boyle to improve the design and to carry out a series of experiments which would eventually lead to the discovery of Boyle's Law.

Another image from von Guericke's Experimenta nova
Another image from von Guericke's Experimenta nova
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