Simplistic diagram of a vacuum or region devoid of anything, showing a connector valve attached to a vacuum bulb, whereby a vacuum pump can be used to remove the interior particles, through the action of work (the 'working' of the pump arm), creating a pressure difference between the volume inside the bulb and the surrounding space.
In science, vacuum (TR:269) which is near synonymous with "void", is region of space completely devoid of matter.

The topic of whether or not a vacuum can actually exist in reality is captured in the famous dictum “nature abhors a vacuum”, initiated by Greek philosopher Parmenides’ 485BC argument that vacuums or voids are a natural impossibility. This debate can be said to have been directly responsible for the the vacuum pump, invented by German engineer Otto Guericke in circa 1643, the gas laws which followed, the invention of the steam engine, and thus thermodynamics as the science of the study of heat engines from the general point of view.

The term “ideal gas” originated in the phrase “perfect gas” and “perfect ideal gas” on attempts to make a “perfect vacuum”, during in the 17th century, inside of a piston and cylinder, e.g. in a gunpowder engine.

The vacuum debate, through the thinking of Italian physicist Galileo Galilei, resulted in the invention of the barometer, via investigations on the subject of the vacuum by Galileo's student Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli in 1643.

The following are related quotes:

“If the vacuum cannot be recognized either by the senses or by the intellect, how have you managed to find out that it does not exist?”
Galileo (c.1620), annotations, in his copy of Julius Galla’s On the Appearance of the Orbit of the Moon (De phaenomenis in orbe lunare), after the phrase ‘concerning the vacuum’; cited by William Middleton (1964) in The History of the Barometer [1]

Hobbes used the Epicurean distinction between a microscopic array of empty spaces dispersed in matter (vacuum disseminatum) and a macroscopic void space produced by the absence of all body (vacuum coacervatum). Gassendi also used this distinction.”
Steven Shapin (1985), Leviathan and the Air Pump (pg. 83)

“The word ‘vacuum’ first appeared in the English language in 1550, introduced by Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who composed the Book of Common Prayer, the central document of the Church of England. The phrase he used, as part of a theological argument, is cited in the Oxford English Dictionary: ‘Naturall reason abhorreth vacuum, that is to say, that there should be any emptye place, wherein no substance shoulde be.’ This was the sanctioned view, but, with the accession of the Catholic Queen Mary in 1553, the winds of orthodoxy shifted. Cranmer was convicted of heresy in 1555, and was burned at the stake the following year.”
— Richard Williams (2012), “Oct 1644: Torricelli Demonstrates the Existence of a Vacuum” (ΡΊ), This Month in Physics, APS News

1. Middleton, William E. (1964). The History of the Barometer (pg. 5) (Amz). Publisher.

Further reading
● Close, Frank. (2007). The Void. Oxford University Press.
● Grant, Edward. (1981). Much Ado about Nothing: Theories of Space and Vacuum from the Middle Ages to the Scientific Revolution (Guericke, 9+ pgs; void, 20+ pgs; vacuum, 22+ pgs). Cambridge University Press.

External links
● Vacuum – Wikipedia.

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