January 25, 1627- December 30, 1691
Described the relation of pressure and volume of gasby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
Robert Boyle was the seventh son and fourteenth child of Richard Boyle, who
was the first Earl of Cork. Robert was born on January 25, 1627 at Lismore Castle,
Munster Ireland. After his education at home he was sent to College as a young
child. When Boyle converted to Christianity it made a difference in his writing
as well as the way he studied and recorded chemistry.
Robert Boyle was educated at home and at Eton College he did not know this at the time, but in the future he would enjoy traveling. As a young child he was very knowledgeable in the languages of French and Latin. Significantly at the young age of eight years old he went to Eton College. After his education in 1641 he began to tour Europe with a French tutor. In Florence, Italy Boyle studied the works of Galileo Galilei, who died in 1642. When his father died in 1643 he inherited parts of his father’s estates. At the end of his tour in 1644 he returned to England and stayed because Ireland was in turmoil. The income from the estates allowed him to live independently. Robert Boyle’s education at home might have been of such good quality that he was able to go to college at a young age.
Robert Boyle’s conversion experience may perhaps have made him a better chemist. His conversion took place while watching an awe-inspiring thunderstorm. After this he recounted his experience in his autobiography that it changed his life forever. His conversion influenced his writing and his entire life. Notably Boyle’s profound Christian faith is the subject of much comment by his contemporaries. They often quarrel that his goals originate out of his religious imperatives. After his conversion Boyle considered science to be the best way to glorify God and was eager to uncover the secrets which lie in creation, it forever changed his life.
Boyle self-consciously set about a career of writing. Contrary to what everyone anticipated his publications in this book were not devoted to science at all. His first project started in 1645 and was accomplished in 1646. This book was on Aretology. In this book he laid down the rudiments and morality on a pursuit of virtue. In his writing he experimented with other literature genres, like Imaginary lives, Speeches, letters and other things. In 1649 he experienced a change in preoccupations and set up a laboratory his home at Stalbridge in Dorset. Performing experiments seemed to immediately fascinate him. Writings composed throughout the summer of 1649 and onwards seem to give the impression that his experiments gave him enthusiasm to write and record experimental knowledge. Boyle’s career of writing would remain with him the rest of his life.
Confidently Boyle’s empirical investigations concerned chemical trials. In his experiments Boyle refers to the use of a microscope to observe minute structures of living things. Boyle showed a preoccupation in collecting and writing about data regarding effluvia, which according to Webster’s New World Dictionary is a real or supposed outflow in the form of a vapor or stream of invisible particles. His preoccupation of other natural phenomena foreshadows his later interests in chemistry. His intellectual mentor’s are authors like Paracelsus, Bernardino, Telesio and others. Bolye expressed a sense of solidarity with other chemists. Strangely, with the chemical context, he encountered atomist ideas. In chemical investigations, he learned much more of many unique and different chemicals.
Boyle’s law evaluated changes in the pressure and volume of gas. This Law was developed in the mid-1600s and deals with the Ideal gasses. In Ideal gasses there are no interactions between molecules or even small particles. Gas at a constant temperature varies with volume. When pressure increases the volume of the gas decreases and if the pressure decreases the volume of the gas will increase. The law was developed with experimental measures and systems. Boyle did not understand the behavior of the gasses, so he also did not understand why they follow this rule. “Boyle’s law is only approximate for real gases but predicts a gas’s behavior more accurately as the gas behaves more like an Ideal gas.”
Robert Boyle died in 1691 at the age of 64 after living a life full of traveling, writing, experimenting and learning about God’s unique and wonderful creation.
Exploring Chemistry with Creation: Second Edition
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2004