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Portrait of the Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli, 1608-1647. Torricelli worked on the dynamics of falling bodies with B. Castelli. This led to his being appointed assistant to Galileo whom he succeeded as mathematician to the court of Tuscany. He was interested in pure maths and experimental physics, but he is best remembered for his discovery of atmospheric pressure and for his invention in 1644 of the mercury barometer. He later noticed that small variations in the height of the column of mercury supported by the atmospheric pressure were related to changes in the weather.
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