Evangelista Torricelli, Italian physicist

Evangelista Torricelli, Italian physicist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647), Italian physicist. From 1627, Torricelli studied science in Rome under the Benedictine professor Benedetto Castelli. Castelli sent Torricelli's work on the dynamics of falling bodies to Galileo, who invited Torricelli to visit him. Toricelli spent three months with Galileo, before Galileo's death in 1642, and then succeeded him as mathematician to the court of Tuscany. Torricelli is most famous for his invention of the mercury barometer in 1643 and his discovery of atmospheric pressure. The torr, a unit of pressure, was named in his honour. Torricelli also worked on problems in mathematics, and designed several telescopes and microscopes.

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