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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines experimentation in the physical sciences during the seventeenth century. It first provides an overview of some features and problems of seventeenth-century experimentation before discussing experiments on the science of motion, with particular emphasis on falling bodies, the inclined plane and projectiles, and the pendulum. It then considers barometric experiments associated with Torricelli and their aftermath, including Florin Périer’s Puy-de Dôme experiment in 1648 to test whether the mercury in the barometer was lower at the top, Adrien Auzout’s void-in-the-void experiment, and Gilles de Roberval’s carp-bladder experiment. It also describes the experiments of Otto von Guericke and Robert Boyle, along with optical experiments designed to investigate the behaviour and nature of light, including Isaac Newton’s prismatic experiments.

Keywords: experimentation, physical sciences, motion, Torricelli, Florin Périer, Adrien Auzout, Otto von Guericke, Robert Boyle, light, Isaac Newton

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