Guillaume Amontons


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(1663–1705) French physicist

Amontons, a Parisian, who had been deaf since childhood, invented and perfected various scientific instruments. In 1687 he made a hygrometer (an instrument for measuring moisture in the air); in 1695 he produced an improved barometer; and in 1702–03 a constant-volume air thermometer. In 1699 he published the results of his studies on the effects of change in temperature on the volume and pressure of air. He noticed that equal drops in temperature resulted in equal drops in pressure and realized that at a low enough temperature the volume and pressure of the air would become zero – an early recognition of the idea of absolute zero. These results lay largely unnoticed and the relationship between temperature and pressure of gases was not reexamined until the next century (by scientists such as Jacques Charles).

Amontons also published in 1699 the results of his studies on friction, which he considered to be proportional to load.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.

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