Air Pressure and the Barometer






“For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heavens, to establish a weight (pressure) for the wind, and apportion the waters by measure.” – Job 28: 24 – 25










1.  In 1643, an Italian scientist by the name of Evangelista Torricelli (1608 – 1647) invented the barometer

The barometer is a device that enables atmospheric pressure to be measured

“Atmospheric pressure is caused by the weight of the atmosphere pushing down on itself and on the surface below it. Pressure is defined as the force acting on an object divided by the area upon which the force is acting.” 1

2.  Torricelli was also the first scientist to provide an explanation for the cause of wind:

  • “Winds are produced by differences of air temperature, and hence density, between two regions of the earth” 2

3.  In a hot air balloon, a gas burner is used to heat air to a temperature of about 212°F (100°C).

  • Since hot air is lighter and less dense than the cool air around the balloon, the heated air causes the whole balloon to ascend (or gain altitude)
  • When the air inside the balloon cools down, or when the hot air is let out, the balloon begins to descend (or lose altitude)
  • In short, the reason a hot air balloon is able to stay aloft is because it “weighs” less than the air around it 3

4.  Isn’t it interesting that Job is penning the words to these verses more than 3,600 years earlier than Torricelli’s invention?

  • Job is recognizing that air (wind) has mass

5.  The Bible is accurate in its aerostatics