Who invented the mercurial barometer?

1 Answer
Feb 3, 2016

Answer:

Given the amount of times students have spilled mercury over the laboratory, it was probably Lucifer himself.

Explanation:

To be serious, the mercury barometer was invented in the 17th century by Evangelista Torricelli; we still call a #mm# #Hg# #1# #"Torr"# in his honour. Of course, we could use other liquids than mercury to measure pressure. The advantage of mercury is that the stuff is so dense that #1# #"atm"# pressure will support a column of mercury only #"760"# #mm# tall, whereas if we used a water column it would be approx. #10# #m# in height.