Otto Guericke

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In existographies, Otto Guericke (353-269 BE) (1602-1686 ACM) (IQ:190|#34) (ID:2.89|83) (RGM:99|1,350+) (PR:2,262|65AE / physicist:52) (EP:13) (SIG:5) (GPE:62) (CR:192) (LH:18) (TL:215|#41) was a German experimental physicist, philosopher, inventor, and diplomat, noted for []



In 1647, Guericke The following, below left, is the first version of his "vacuum pump" (see: Guericke first generation vacuum pump), or “antlia pneumatica” (air pump), in Latin, as he called it, the term antlia (Ѻ) of Greek origin meaning “hold of a ship, bilgewater, reservoir”, in the sense of pumping water out of flooded ship.

Guericke experiments (1647 and 1648).png

He used this vacuum pump for his "beer keg experiment, as shown below left, wherein he attempted to suck the water out of a water-filled beer keg:

Magdeburg Hemispheres

On 22 Jul 1656, Guericke, in a letter to Gaspar Schott, mentions the an experiment where he has tried to have teams of horses pull the sealed hemispheres apart; in a followup 4 Aug 1656 letter to Schott, Guericke states that he has carried out the Magdeburg hemispheres experiment with 12-horses, at a considerable cost; the following shows a 20-horse version, one of many variants performed thereafter:[1]

Magdeburg hemispheres (20 horses).png


Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Guericke:

Theories which are demonstrated by experiment and visual perception must be preferred to those derived from reasoning, however probable and plausible, for many things seem true in speculation and discussion, which in actual fact defy reality.”
— Otto Guericke (1663), New Magdeburg Experiments on the Vacuum of Space (pgs. xvii)
“Those who rely upon their conjectures and hypotheses alone, repudiating ‘experimentation’, can make no conclusive statements about the nature of the world; for when man does not rely upon experimentation, he often wanders so far from truth as the sun which we see is distant from the earth.”
— Otto Guericke (1663), New Magdeburg Experiments on the Vacuum of Space (pgs. xvii-xviii)
“Because, in truth, scholars have sharply disputed with one another for a long time the question of the vacuum -- does it exist or not? or what is it? -- and each one has defended his theory like a determined soldier defending a stronghold against an attacking enemy, for this reason I felt a burning desire to investigate the truth of this question which has been a source of dispute, not being able to lay my feelings to rest nor extinguish them until I should find time to carry out an experiment involving the vacuum. I performed this experiment in a number of ways and my efforts were not unrewarded: indeed, I designed several pieces of apparatus to prove the existence of that vacuum whose existence had always been denied.”
— Otto Guericke (1663), New Magdeburg Experiments on the Vacuum of Space (pgs. xviii-xix) [2]

End matter


  1. Otto Guericke –
  2. Guericke, Otto. (1663). New Magdeburg Experiments: on the Vacuum of Space (Ottonis de Guericke Experimenta Nova (ut vocantur) Magdeburgica de Vacuo Spatio) (translator and preface: Margaret Ames). Publisher, 1672; Kluwer, 1994; Springer, 2012.


External links

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