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GUILLAUME AMONTONS (1663–17o5)

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 876 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GUILLAUME AMONTONS (1663–17o5), French experimental philosopher, the son of an advocate who had left his native province of Normandy and established himself at Paris, was born in that city on the 31st of August 1663. He devoted himself particularly to the improvement of instruments employed in physical experiments. In 1687 he presented to the Academy of Sciences an hygrometer of his own invention, and in 1695 he published his only book, Remarques et experiences physiques sur la construction d'une nouvelle clepsydre, sur les barometees, les thermometres et les hygrometres. In 1699 he published some investigations on friction, and in 1702–1703 two noteworthy papers on thermometry. He experimented 'with an air-thermometer, in which the temperature was defined by measurement of the length of a column of mercury; and he pointed out thatthe extreme cold of such a thermometer would be that which reduced the " spring " of the air to nothing, thus being the first to recognize that the use of air as a thermometric substance led to the inference of the existence of a zero of temperature. In 1704 he noted that barometers are affected by heat as well as by the weight of the atmosphere, and in the following year he described barometers without mercury, for use at sea. Amontons, who through disease was rendered almost completely deaf in early youth, died at Paris on the 11th of October 1705. 'AMORA (Hebrew for " speaker " or" discourser "), a title applied to the rabbis of the 2nd to 5th centuries, i.e. to the compilers of the Talmud. Each tana—or rabbi of the earlier period—had a spokesman, who repeated to large audiences the discourses of the tana. But the 'amora soon ceased to be a mere repeater, and developed into an original expounder of scripture and tradition.
End of Article: GUILLAUME AMONTONS (1663–17o5)
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