Evangelista Torricelli


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His parents were Gaspare Torricelli and Caterina Angetti. It was a fairly poor family with Gaspare being a textile worker. Evangelista was the eldest of his parents three children, having two younger brothers at least one of whom went on to work with cloth. It is greatly to his parents' credit that they saw that their eldest son had remarkable talents and, lacking the resources to provide an education for him themselves, they sent him to his uncle who was a Camaldolese monk. Brother Jacopo saw that Evangelista was given a sound education until he was old enough to enter a Jesuit school.


His parents sent him to live with his uncle, a Camaldolese monk, who supervised his nephew’s education. Torricelli took courses in mathematics and philosophy with the Jesuits in Faenza. He showed such aptitude that the Benedictine Benedetto Castelli of the University of Sapienza in Rome took him as a private student. Castelli, who was a former student of Galileo, thought so highly of Torricelli’s genius that he made him his secretary, a post the younger man held between 1626 and 1632.

Contribution to science

Torricelli contributed a great deal to the field of mathematics which was an important contribution in the scientific history. He worked on the equations of curves, solids, and their rotations to fill in the missing parts between the Greek geometry and Calculus based on the works Francesco Cavalieri’s “of indivisibles. Calculus was given its first complete formulation by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, along with the works of René Descartes, Pierre de Fermat, Gilles Personne de Roberval and others.