Otto von Guericke, German engineer

Otto von Guericke, German engineer

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Otto von Guericke (1602-1686), German engineer and physicist. Guericke carried out research into the existence and nature of vacuums. He devised an air vacuum pump and used it to show that sounds cannot be heard in vacuum and that flames are extinguished. He also showed that when two large metal hemispheres (the 'Magdeburg hemispheres') were placed together and the air within was pumped out they require great force to separate them. Artwork from 'Chaudieres et Machines a Vapeur' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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