Basic Concepts

The First Demonstration: Proof That Air Is a Substance

On the basis of this observation, Empedocles developed a "water clock."  This clock was a conical container with a small hole in the top and a larger hole in the bottom.  The cone sank in a certain amount of time, so it could be used as a crude time piece.

Ironically, this first demonstration can easily be documented and attributed to Empedocles more that 2300 years ago, although the origins of more recent demonstrations are much more difficult to trace.

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