Magdeburg hemispheres demo

Feel the power of atmospheric pressure through your hands’ muscle tension.

More than 350 years ago, the city of Magdeburg in Germany underwent a proud experiment.

Two metal hemispheres were made, which could be assembled and then pumped out of the air.

In the eyes of amazed spectators, the eight horses could not pull them open.

Here is a small replica to use in Physics classes.


Initially, the Magdeburg hemispheres are a pair of large copper hemispheres, with mating rims. They were used to demonstrate the power of atmospheric pressure. When the rims were sealed with grease and the air was pumped out, the sphere contained a vacuum and could not be pulled apart by teams of eight horses in a famous first public demonstration in Magdeburg (Germany) in 1654.

Updated Magdeburg hemispheres design adapted to humans. Now it is possible to call it Magdeburg Plates.

The actual product may differ slightly from the product shown.

These 2 plates are a modern and versatile rendition of a classic demonstration:

  • Air is evacuated using a syringe; no vacuum pump is needed
  • Clear plastic design lets students see everything
  • Two different “O” rings allow 2 different size areas
  • Tubing is provided so students can connect a Pressure Sensor for use with DataStudio.


  • 10.7 cm diameter circular polycarbonate plates (2)
  • O-rings (8.5 cm and 5.4 cm diameter) (2)
  • 60 cc syringe
  • Connecting tubing with one-way valve with inline connector for optional Pressure Sensor


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