The invention of the barometer and Torricelli's explanation of the vacuity above the mercury column placed before the members of the Florentine academy a ready method of obtaining vacua; for to exhaust a vessel it was only necessary to join, by means of a tube provided with stopcocks, the vessel to a barometer tube, fill the compound vessel with mercury and then to invert it in a basin containing this liquid, whereupon the mercury column fell, leaving a Torricellian vacuum in the vessel, which could be removed after shutting off the stop-cocks.
This method was developed by Hofmann in 1868, who replaced the short tube of Gay-Lussac by an ordinary barometer tube, thus effecting the volatilization in a Torricellian vacuum.
The former determination is made by driving out the dissolved gases from solution and collecting them in a Torricellian vacuum, where the volume is measured after the carbonic acid has been removed.
In 1800 he became a secretary of the society, and in the following year he presented the important paper or series of papers, entitled "Experimental Essays on the constitution of mixed gases; on the force of steam or vapour of water and other liquids in different temperatures, both in Torricellian vacuum and in air; on evaporation; and on the expansion of gases by heat."
Lampadius, however, showed that there was no phosphorescence in a Torricellian vacuum; and other experimenters proved that oxygen was essential to the process.
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