Teaching Physics during the 17th Century: Some Examples from the Works of Evangelista Torricelli

Teaching Physics during the 17th Century: Some Examples from the Works of Evangelista Torricelli

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Author(s): Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

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DOI: 10.18483/ijSci.694 429 1095 50-58 Volume 4 - Apr 2015


This paper is proposing some physics problems from a book, De Motu Gravium Naturaliter Descendentium, written by Evangelista Torricelli, physicist and mathematician best known for his invention of barometer, with the aim of showing how physics was taught in the Italian universities, those of Padua and Pisa for instance, during the 17th Century.


History of Physics, History of Science


  1. Vv. Aa. (2015). Evangelista Torricelli, Wikipedia.
  2. Gorton, J. (1847). A general biographical dictionary, Whittaker and Co.
  3. Sparavigna, A.C. (2013). Gabrio Piola e il suo elogio di Bonaventura Cavalieri, Lulu Press, freely available at http://porto.polito.it/2505638/
  4. Bell, J.L. (2010). Continuity and Infinitesimals, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Fall 2010 Edition, Edward N. Zalta ed.
  5. Gliozzi, M. (2008). Torricelli, Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography.
  6. Torricelli, E. (1715). Lezioni accademiche d' Evangelista Torricelli, Firenze: Jacopo Guiducci, e Santi Franchi.
  7. As told in Wikipedia, the Accademia della Crusca, Academy of the bran, is a society for scholars and Italian linguists and philologists established in Florence. The Accademia was founded in 1583 and has always been characterized by its aim to establish and maintain the purity of the Italian language. Crusca means “bran” in Italian, which conveys the metaphor that its work is similar to winnowing. In 1612, the Accademia published the first edition of its Dictionary: the Vocabolario della lingua italiana, which also served as the model for similar works in French, Spanish, German, and English.
  8. As discussed in the etymological dictionary at www.etymonline.com, “impetus” means "rapid movement, rush." From 1640s, "force with which a body moves, driving force," from Latin impetus "attack, assault, onset, impulse, violence, vigor, force, passion," related to impetere "to attack."
  9. Torricelli, E. (1644). Opera Geometrica, Florentiae, typis A. Masse & L. de Landis.
  10. Feito, J.R. (1985). La física de Galileo: la problemática en torno a la ley de caída de los cuerpos, Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona, at pag.54.

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International Journal of Sciences is Open Access Journal.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
Author(s) retain the copyrights of this article, though, publication rights are with Alkhaer Publications.

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