industry published white papers to assist in understanding of vacuum best practice
Approximately four hundred years ago, a young
Italian man named Evangelista Torricelli walked up
a mountainside with apparatus he had recently put
together in his workshop. This apparatus consisted
of a bowl of mercury with an open-ended glass tube inserted
into it (Figure 1). The young man was attempting to prove that
the air in the atmosphere had a physical weight and hoped
that by walking up a mountainside, this theory would
After a few thousand paces and much physical exertion, he diverted his gaze from the snowcapped mountains and focused on the contraption in his possession. His theory was proven correct. The column of mercury in the tube had moved downwards. The reason for this is that the atmospheric pressure pushing down on the mercury in the bowl was now less and therefore, the mercury in the tube fell. Consequently, as Torricelli descended down the mountain, the pressure on the bowl of mercury became higher and the column increased in height.
The “mercury barometer” was born.
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