What Inventions Did Robert Boyle Invent?


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Iris Phillips answered
Robert Boyle, 1627-91, was a natural philosopher, physicist, chemist and inventor. In addition, he was noted for his theological writings. Despite his research being clearly rooted within alchemical traditions, he is now regarded as the first modern chemist and one of the founders and pioneers of modern chemistry and modern scientific methods of experimentation.

  • Boyle's Law
Boyle is best known for his work resulting in Boyle's Law, which is summarized as PV=k, with P being pressure, V being volume and k being a constant. In short, this law describes the so-called inversely proportional relationship existing between the absolute volume and pressure of a gas under conditions where the temperature in an enclosed system is kept constant.

  • Other Achievements in Physics
In spite of this and his other important works within physics, such as his discovery of the role played by air in the transmission of sound and his investigations into refractive power, specific gravity, crystals, hydrostatics and electricity, Boyle was a chemist at heart.

  • Boyle's Work as a Chemist
In his work as a chemist, Boyle recognized elements as being indecomposable constituents of materials and he was one of the first to make a distinction between compounds and mixtures. He also made some considerable progress in detecting the ingredients of compounds and mixtures, a process which he described as analysis.
  • Future Visions
He also assumed that elements were in fact composed of several particles of varying types and sizes, into which they could not be separated in any, as yet, known way. Considering the time in which he lived, this was indeed an assumption made out of unusual insight. In addition, he made studies of the chemistry of respiration and combustion. His experiments in physiology were somewhat held back by his extreme dislike of necessary anatomical dissections.

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