SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vacuum experiment. Engraving showing an experiment into the strength of a vacuum conducted by Otto von Guericke (1602-86). At left is a glass cylinder, in which there is a well-greased piston. The piston is fixed to a rope, which is being pulled by a crowd of men. An evacuated sphere is fitted to the cylinder, and its air tap opened. This reduces the air pressure in the cylinder, and the piston moves down under atmospheric pressure. Guericke showed that as many as eight men could not resist the 'pull' of the partial vacuum.
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