Did you know that Robert Boyle was born today in 1627? He was an Anglo-Irish physicist, inventor, philosopher, and chemist. Many people consider him to be one of the founders of modern chemistry. He suggested that elements were the building blocks of substances and that elements were made of different particles of different sizes. He also studied methods for discovering the ‘ingredients’ in mixtures and compounds. One of the most important laws in chemistry is named after him, Boyle’s Law.
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Boyle studied many other things including: how sound moves through air, how fluids behave when they are not moving, electricity, how light moves through materials, and much more.
Boyle made a wish list of possible inventions he would like to see. They include the “prolongation of life”, “art of flying”, “perpetual light”, “making armor light and strong”, “a ship to sail with all winds, that could not be sunk”, “practicable and certain ways of finding longitudes”, “potent drugs to alter or exalt imagination, waking, memory, and other functions and appease pain, procure innocent sleep, harmless dreams, etc.” Many of these inventions have been created!
Robert Boyle’s worked with his sister Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh throughout their lives. They promoted each other’s scientific ideas and edited each other’s books.