Guericke, Otto von

(redirected from Guericke)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Guericke, Otto von

(ô`tō fən gā`rĭkə), 1602–86, German physicist, noted for his study of pneumatics. He carried out his most important researches while burgomaster (1646–81) of Magdeburg. In the course of his attempts to create a vacuum he made the first air pump (c.1650). To demonstrate the pressure of air he devised the so-called Magdeburg hemispheres—two hollow copper hemispheres fitted together to form a globe c.14 in. (36 cm) in diameter from which the air could be pumped. A famous woodcut depicts the claim that it required two opposing eight-horse teams to pull the hemispheres apart. He invented (1660) a machine to generate electricity from the friction of the hand held against a rotating sulfur ball; he also predicted the periodicity of comets.

Guericke, Otto Von


Born Nov. 20, 1602, in Magdeburg; died May 11, 1686, in Hamburg. German physicist. Mayor of Magdeburg from 1646.

In trying to prove the existence of the vacuum, Guericke invented the air pump in 1650. In a series of experiments he proved the existence of air pressure (the experiment with the “Magdeburg hemispheres”), determined the elasticity of air, its ponderability, its ability to support combustion and to conduct sound, and the presence in it of water vapor. Guericke created one of the first electrical machines, a rotating sulfur sphere polished by hand, and discovered the phenomenon of electrical repulsion as well as electrical luminescence. In 1660 he was the first to build a water barometer and use it to predict the weather.


Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) Magdeburgica de vacuo spatio. Amsterdam, 1672.


Lebedev, V. I. Istoricheskie opyty po fizike. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937. (Contains translations of excerpts from Guericke’s works.)
Hoppe, E. Otto von Guericke. Berlin, 1927.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Doximity, the largest professional network for physicians, announced today entrepreneur and LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke has joined its board of directors.
The author is affiliated with Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany.
In addition to his current role, these include the Max Planck Institute, Otto von Guericke University, the Center for Neuroscience at University Bremen, and several others of similar stature in the global scientific community.
It is wild to think you can reach that many people," says Konstantin Guericke, co-founder and vice president of marketing at LinkedIn.
Located on the river Elbe, Magdeburg's Otto von Guericke University is slowly but steadily establishing an enviable collection of contemporary architecture.
Guericke is Vice Chairman, President and CEO of Essex Properties Trust.
Otto von Guericke conducted an experiment in Magdeburg, Germany, in 1656 using horses to prove that if air was evacuated from between two sealed hemispheres it would take exceptional force to part them.
Housing a research institute dedicated to developing, testing and marketing new cladding technologies, the building sits on the edge of the Otto von Guericke University campus.
Guericke was a co-founder of LinkedIn prior to joining jaxtr.
KAD607) KEITH GUERICKE, CEO of ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST INC (ESS), describes the company's business and its background; prospects for the industry, with positive and negative trends; competitive threats; strategic opportunities for the firm including its marketing plans and acquisition potential; management strength and organization; and the financial prospects of the firm looking forward.