Puy de Dôme


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Puy de Dôme,

extinct volcano of the Massif Central and the second highest peak (4,806 ft/1,465 m) of the Auvergne Mts., central France, W of Clermont-Ferrand. Crops are raised on the lower slopes; the highlands are used as pasturage. On its level summit (it has no crater) are a meteorological observatory and the ruins of a temple of Mercury. There Florence Périer conducted (1648), upon instructions of his brother-in-law, Blaise Pascal, the famous experiment that confirmed Torricelli's theory on air pressure (see Pascal's lawPascal's law
[for Blaise Pascal], states that pressure applied to a confined fluid at any point is transmitted undiminished throughout the fluid in all directions and acts upon every part of the confining vessel at right angles to its interior surfaces and equally upon equal
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).

Puy de Dôme

 

a department in France, in the Massif Central. Area 8,000 sq km. Population, 582,000 (1973). The prefecture is Clermont-Ferrand. In the western part of the department is the extensive volcanic massif of the Monts Dore, whose highest peak is Puy de Sancy. In the east are the forested Monts du Forez. The Allier River valley (Limagne) is in the central part of the department.

Puy de Dôme’s economy is dominated by industry. There are machine-building and food-processing industries, and rubber goods are manufactured in Clermont-Ferrand. Cattle are bred and cheese is made in the mountain regions. Wheat, sugar beets, and fruits are cultivated in Limagne. Health resorts with mineral springs are found at Mont Dore, La Bourboule, and Royat.