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Create a Vacuum Day – February 4, 2023

Create a Vacuum Day takes place on February 4 every year. When the atmospheric pressure in a space is lower than that of the surrounding area, a vacuum is created. This dip in pressure requires all matter to be ‘evacuated’ from the space in question, which is only possible to do in a controlled environment. What we can do instead, is create a partial vacuum through all sorts of fun experiments.

History of Create a Vacuum Day

The vacuum was considered to be impossible by some ancient Greek scholars like Aristotle because they believed that nature would not allow a void. The word itself comes from the Greek ‘vacuus,’ meaning empty. However, it was a Greek philosopher, Democritus, who also posited the existence of the vacuum for the first time, referring to the space between atoms as void of any matter. He was proved right more than a millennia later when it was scientifically proven in the 17th century by Italian scientist Galileo Galilei. Some pump makers had told Galileo that while their pumps were capable of pumping water to heights greater than 30 feet, they were unable to pull it out of a well more than that same distance deep.

One of Galileo’s students, Evangelista Torricelli, suggested that they try experimenting with mercury instead of water, which is 13 times denser and would therefore make it much easier to investigate and provide more reliable results when testing at lower depths. When Torricelli filled a 3.28-foot tube, closed at one end, with mercury, placed the open end in a dish, also filled with mercury and tilted it, the mercury in the tuberose by 0.39 inches. Torricelli concluded this was the result of a vacuum having been created, with the normal atmospheric pressure forcing the mercury to above its initial height.

Other scientists in the 17th century, such as Blaise Pascal, further conducted experiments on vacuum technology and discovered other principles that are widely applied today, such as hydrodynamics.

Create a Vacuum Day timeline

460 B.C.
Democritus is Born

The Greek philosopher is credited as the first to conceptualize the vacuum.

1600
Giordano Bruno is Charged With Heresy

Bruno’s endorsement of the existence of a vacuum goes against the Catholic Church’s position, which abhors the science around the vacuum.

1644
Torricelli Proves the Vacuum

The scientist’s experiment with mercury levels rising in an inverted glass tube, placed in a dish also filled with mercury and then titled, proves the existence of the vacuum.

1879
Edison Uses Vacuum Principles

Thomas Alva Edison applies vacuum technology to protect the filament from oxidation in his light bulb.

Create a Vacuum Day FAQs

Is it possible to create a perfect vacuum?

No, it’s practically impossible to create an environment void of any particles. There is a high probability of neutrons entering the space.

How do you create a vacuum at home?

There are many ways that we can create or witness a partial vacuum by varying the temperature inside a closed container and thereby adjusting the pressure inside it. You can find guides on how to do this online.

How is vacuum measured?

In honor of Torricelli’s mercury experiment, the unit to measure vacuum is named after him. Torr is the equivalent of 3,3814e-5 ounces of mercury. In Europe, however, it is more common to measure vacuum in millibars. The standard atmospheric pressure is 760 Torrs or 1013.25 millibars.

Create a Vacuum Day Activities

  1. Witness a vacuum in action

    Take a suction cup and firmly press it against a wall. The volume inside the cup decreases as air flows out of the cup, creating a vacuum. This reduces the inside pressure and causes the cup to stick to the wall.

  2. Look up fun experiments

    There are many other simple household experiments that one can do to prove the existence of a vacuum. One involves lighting matches and dropping them into a bottle and quickly placing a boiled egg over the mouth of the bottle, the result of which is that the egg will be sucked into the bottle.

  3. Use your vacuum cleaner

    This is for those who don’t care much for science but do need to get household chores done. Vacuuming is not only a chance to make your home spotless but is an opportunity to observe the practical application of vacuum technology.

5 Mind-Blowing Facts About Vacuums

  1. Atmospheric pressure changes

    Air pressure varies depending on weather and altitude, creating vacuums at different levels.

  2. Outer space is a vacuum

    Outer space is a near-perfect vacuum devoid of particles.

  3. A partial vacuum is created in the lungs

    When we breathe air in, our diaphragm drops where a vacuum is created in the alveoli, causing air to rush in.

  4. Smartphones use vacuum technology

    Microprocessor chips built today also use vacuum technology.

  5. Vaccines use vacuum

    Many vaccines are produced and transported in a vacuum.

Why We Love Create a Vacuum Day

  1. It makes us think of vacuum

    Many of us don’t realize how much the vacuum is part of our daily lives. However, it has enabled the invention of a lot of essentials such as light bulbs and smartphones. It’s also used for a variety of applications across industries today.

  2. It’s a chance to understand the principle

    Even if we’re not into science, the way a vacuum is created is intriguing. We can also explore our curiosity by experimenting with its existence ourselves.

  3. It’s a chance to clean the house

    Vacuum is now synonymous with the vacuum cleaner. If you’ve been neglecting using this handy appliance for a while, Create a Vacuum Day is a great time to get rid of the dust and dirt while using the technology that works on the principle of variations in air pressure.

Create a Vacuum Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 4Saturday
2024February 4Sunday
2025February 4Tuesday
2026February 4Wednesday
2027February 4Thursday

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