Rafael Magiotti

In existographies, Rafael Magiotti (1597-1656) (CR:6), aka “Rafaello Magiotti”, was an Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist, noted for his coordination in the Berti vacuum experiment (c.1639). []

Magiotti was associated with Galileo, whom he communicated with, and Gasparo Berti, whom he did experiments with.

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The following are quotes on Magiotti:

Galileo’s Discourse arrived in Rome in Dec 1638 and greatly excited the members of this circle of Rafael Magiotti, Evangelista Torricelli, and Gasparo Berti. Waard (c.1935) (Ѻ), who has examined all the relevant documents, is of the opinion that Discourse stimulated Magiotti to suggest a more convenient experiment that that with the siphon to study the production of a vacuum.”
William Middleton (1964), The History of the Barometer [1]

Galileo's ideas reached Rome in 1638 in his Discorsi. Rafael Magiotti and Gasparo Berti were excited by these ideas, and decided to seek a better way to attempt to produce a vacuum than with a siphon. Magiotti devised such an experiment, and in 1641 Berti, with Magiotti, Athanasius Kircher and Nicolo Zucchi present, carried it out. The experiment consisted of filling with water a long tube that had both ends plugged up, then placing the tube into a basin already full of water. The bottom end of the tube was opened, and the water that had begun inside of it poured out of the bottom hole into the basic. However, only part of the water in the tube flowed out, and the level of the water inside the tube stayed at a precise level, which happened to be thirty-four feet, the exact height Baliani and Galileo had observed limited a siphon (Middleton, 1964). What was most important about this experiment was that the lowering water had left a space above it in the tube which had had no intermediate contact with air to fill it up. This seemed to suggest the possibility of a vacuum existing in the space above the water. The space above the water had to be explained, but the Aristotelians wouldn't stand for the existence of a vacuum. They sought to reject the vacuum and present alternate explanations. It was obvious that light was transmitted through the space in the tube (since objects behind the tube could be seen through it), and it was commonly believed that light could not travel through a vacuum, so the space could not contain a vacuum. In addition, Kircher devised the idea of using a magnet outside the tube to drop a hammer inside the tube onto a bell inside the tube. Since it was agreed by all that sound could not travel through a vacuum, then if the bell's ring was heard, the space could not be a vacuum. Sure enough, the experiment was later done with a bell, and a sound was heard. This was sufficient for the Aristotelians to show that there was not a vacuum there, but then they still needed to explain what exactly was in the space above the water in the tube.”
— Anon (2001), “History of the Barometer” [2]

“A group comprising Giovanni Baliani, Gasparo Berti, Isaac Beeckman, Rene Descartes, Athanasius Kircher, Rafael Magiotti, Emmanuel Maignan, Jean Rey, Vincenzo Viviani, Nicolo Zucchi (Ѻ), Michelangelo Ricci and of course Evangelista Torricelli and Galileo Galilei were debating these matters, concerning the existence or non-existence of a vacuum or whether air had weight and exerted pressure, earnestly in the early 1600s in Italy; the development of the barometer was not done alone by Torricelli working alone.”
— Ian Strangeways (2003), Measuring the Natural Environment (pg. 91)

1. Middleton, William E. (1964). The History of the Barometer (pg. 10) (Amz). Publisher.
2. (a) Middleton, William E. (1964). The History of the Barometer (pg. 12) (Amz). Publisher.
(b) Anon. (2001). “History of the Barometer’ (Ѻ), Strange-Loops.com.

External links
Raffaello Magiotti – Wikipedia.
Raffaello Magiotti (about) – IMSS.fi.it.

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