School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Fa-4 Magdeburg Hemispheres

Published: Thursday 09 March 2006 - Updated: Monday 28 March 2011


To demonstrate atmospheric pressure



Click on pictures to enlarge.

Magdeburg Hemispheres Diagram


A light layer of vacuum grease is applied to the rim of the hemispheres before being pressed together. After evacuation the valve may be closed and the sphere removed from the vacuum pump. If desired a student may be conscripted to attempt to pull the shere apart. The hemispheres can easily be separated by opening the valve shown in the diagram.

Safety notes

Electrical safety 

Personal Protection 


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