Robert Boyle

Picture of Robert Boyle

Date of Birth: 01/25/1627

Age: 64

Place of birth: Lismore Castle

Citizenship: United Kingdom


His theory of the corpuscular structure of matter was a step forward in the development of the atomic-molecular theory. great scientist studies laid the foundation for the birth of a new science of chemistry. He identified the chemistry as an independent science and showed that it has its own problems, its objectives, which should be solved by its own methods other than medicine. Systematizing numerous color reactions and precipitation reactions, Boyle laid the foundation of analytical chemistry.

Robert Boyle was born on January 25, 1627. It was the thirteenth child of fourteen children of Richard Boyle - the first Duke of The Cork, ferocious, and a successful money-grubber who lived in the time of Queen Elizabeth and multiply their land seizure of foreign lands.

He was born in Lismore Castle, one of the Irish estates father. There, Robert spent his childhood. He received an excellent education at home and at the age of eight he became a student of the University of Eton. There he studied for four years, and then moved to a new estate of his father - Stolbridzh.

As was customary at the time, at the age of twelve years, Robert and his brother were sent on a journey through Europe. He decided to continue his education in Switzerland and Italy and stayed there for a long six years. In England, Boyle returned only in 1644, after the death of his father, who left him a considerable fortune.

In Stolbridzhe often held receptions, where there have been known at the time, scientists, writers and politicians. There were times heated debate, and Robert on his return to London was one of the regulars of such assembly. However, the future scientist wanted to go from abstract dispute in the present case.

Boyle dreamed of his own laboratory, but to ask my sister about the material support did not dare. It occurred to him that many buildings of the estate can be converted by the laboratory; besides there stone`s throw from Oxford, and London just can still meet up with friends ...

In the upper floor of the castle placed in Stolbridzhe bedroom, study, spacious hall and a rich library. Each week, the driver delivered from London boxes of new books. Boyle read at an incredible speed. Sometimes he would sit with a book in the morning until late at night. Meanwhile, nearing the completion of the laboratory equipment.

By the end of 1645 the laboratory began research in physics, chemistry and agricultural chemistry. Boyle liked to work simultaneously on several issues. Usually, he explained in detail the assistants that will do it for a day and then removed to the office, where his secretary was waiting. There he dictated his philosophical treatises.

Scholar and lexicographer, Boyle, dealing with the problems of biology, medicine, physics and chemistry, showed no less interest in philosophy, theology and linguistics. Boyle gave paramount importance to laboratory tests. The most interesting and varied his experiments in chemistry. Boyle believed that chemistry, spun off from alchemy and medicine, it can become an independent science.

At first Boyle engaged obtain infusions of flowers, herbs, lichens, bark and roots of plants ... A lot of different color of infusions prepared scientist and his assistants. Some color changed only under the action of acids and other - under the action of alkali. However, the most interesting was the purple infusion obtained from lichen litmus. Acids changed its color to red, and alkali - blue. Boyle ordered this infusion soak the paper and then dry it. A piece of this paper is immersed in the test solution, changes color and showed a solution of acidic or alkaline. It was one of the first substances that are already Boyle called indicators. And as often happens in science, one discovery led to the other. In the study infusion ink nuts in water Boyle found that iron salts, it forms a solution, painted black. This black liquor can be used as an ink. Boyle studied in detail the conditions for receiving the ink and made the necessary prescriptions, which for almost a century been used to produce high quality black ink.

Supervisory scientist could not pass even one property solution when a solution of silver in nitric acid were added a little hydrochloric acid, a white precipitate formed, which Boyle called "moon Cornea" (silver chloride). If this was allowed to precipitate in an open vessel, it was black. Commits an analytical response, significantly showing that the test substance contains "moon" (silver).

Young scientist continued to doubt the universal analytical ability of fire and sought other means to analyze. His long-term studies have shown that when substances are those or other reagents, they can be decomposed into simpler compounds. Using the specific reaction could identify these compounds. Some substances formed painted rainfall, others recovered gas with a characteristic odor, and others were given colored solutions, and so on. D. The decomposition process of substances and the identification of the products obtained by using typical reactions Boyle called analysis. It was a new way of working, which gave impetus to the development of analytical chemistry.

However, scientific work had to be suspended in Stolbridzhe. From Ireland came bad news insurgent peasants ruined castle in Cork, estate income declined sharply. In early 1652, Boyle was forced to go to the family estate. Much time was spent on the settlement of financial problems, was appointed a more experienced manager, sometimes Boyle himself supervised his work.

In 1654 the scientist moved to Oxford. Where he continued his experiments with the assistant William Gomberg. Studies were limited to one goal systematize substances and divide them into groups according to their properties.

Boyle and Gomberg received and investigated a lot of salt. Their classification of each experiment was becoming larger and fuller. Not all scientists in the interpretation was reliably, not all consistent with existing concepts in those days, and yet, it was a bold step towards a coherent theory, a move that transformed the chemistry of the craft into a science. It was an attempt to introduce the theoretical foundations in chemistry, without which science, without which it can not move forward.

After Gomberg his assistant was a young physicist Robert Hooke. Basically, they have devoted their research and development of gas corpuscular theory.

Upon learning of scientific publications on the work of the German physicist Otto von Guericke, Boyle decided to repeat his experiments and for this purpose invented the original design of the air pump. The first specimen of this machine was built with the help of Hooke. Pump researchers were able to almost completely remove the air. However, all attempts to prove the presence of air in the empty vessel remained futile.

"There is no ether does not exist, - concluded Boyle. Empty space, he decided to call a vacuum, which in Latin means "empty". "

The crisis that engulfed the end of the fifties the whole of England, interrupted his scientific work. Outraged brutal dictatorship of Cromwell`s supporters of the monarchy rose again to fight. Arrests and killings, bloody civil strife have become commonplace in the country.

Boyle retired to an estate where you can safely work. He decided to present the results of their research in the last ten years. In the study of Boyle worked almost around the clock by two secretaries. One at his dictation wrote down the thoughts of the scientist, the other completely rewrote already had an outline. In just a few months, they finished the first great scientific work of Boyle`s "New physical and mechanical experiments on the weight of the air and its manifestations." The book was published in 1660. Without losing a single day, Boyle started working on his next work "Chemist - a skeptic." In these books, Boyle was not a stone was left from the teachings of Aristotle`s four elements that existed for nearly two thousand years, the Cartesian "ether" and the three alchemical principles. Naturally, this work has caused sharp attacks by the followers of Aristotle and the Carthusians. However, Boyle relied on the experience of it, and because it was indisputable evidence. Most of the scientists - the followers of the corpuscular theory - enthusiastically embraced the idea of ??Boyle. Many of his ideological opponents, too, were forced to recognize the opening of the scientist, among them physicist Christiaan Huygens, a supporter of the idea of ??the existence of ether.

After accession to the throne of Charles II the political life of the country more normalized, and the scientist would have to conduct research at Oxford. Sometimes he dropped in to London, to his sister Catherine. His assistant in the laboratory of Oxford was now a young physicist Richard Townley.

With him Boyle opened one of the fundamental laws of physics, finding that the change in volume of a gas is inversely proportional to the change in pressure. This meant that, knowing the change in volume of the vessel, it was possible to accurately calculate the change in gas pressure. The greatest discovery of the XVII century. Boyle first described it in 1662 ( "In defense of the doctrine concerning the elasticity and weight of the air") and modestly called a hypothesis. Fifteen years later in France has confirmed the discovery of Boyle Mariotte, setting the same pattern. In fact it was the first law of nascent physical and chemical science.

Furthermore, Boyle proved that when the pressure can evaporate even those substances with which it does not occur under normal conditions - such as ice. Boyle was the first to describe the expansion of bodies on heating and cooling.

After cooling the iron pipe filled with water, Boyle watched as she breaks under the influence of ice. For the first time in the history of science, he showed that when the pressure can boil water, remaining lukewarm.

However, opening a new phenomenon, Boyle could not always explain their true cause. So, watching the rise of the liquid in the thin pipes, he realized that he had discovered the phenomenon of surface tension. This will be done much later by the English physicist D. Stokes.

Boyle also discovered that combustion air varies from body therein that some metals increase in weight on heating. But he nesumel from these work no theoretical conclusions. Note that Boyle`s guilt in this, as it was at the beginning of experimental physics.

Having become a leading British physicist and chemist, Boyle took the initiative to the organization the Society of Sciences, which soon became known as the Royal Society. Boyle was president of the research organization from 1680 until his death. When his life was recognized by the Royal Society scientific center around which the major scholars of the time Dzh. Locke, Newton, D. Wallace.

Boyle was in the prime of his life, one after another appeared iz-pod his pen scientific works on philosophy, physics, and chemistry. In 1664 he published "Experiences and reflections of the flowers."

Boyle at that time was at the zenith of his fame. Often, it is now invited to the palace, and because the powers that be considered an honor to speak at least a few minutes from "luminary of British science." He was universally rendered homage, and even offered to become a member of the "King of the mine." The following year, he was appointed director of the East India Company. However, all this could distract from the basic work of the scientist. Boyle tried all derived from this post revenues to the development of science. It was at Oxford, Boyle has created one of the first European scientific laboratories, which worked with him many famous scientists.

Are published his new book "hydrostatic paradox", "The emergence of forms and qualities according to the corpuscular theory", "About mineral waters". In the latter it gave beautiful description of methods of analysis of mineral waters.

For several years, Boyle studied substance called luminous stone, or phosphorus. In 1680, he received the white phosphorus, which subsequently called for a long time phosphorus Boyle.

As time went on. Boyle`s health has deteriorated. He could no longer follow the work in the laboratory, could not take active part in the research. However, it was necessary to set out the knowledge that he has acquired in the course of his research for almost thirty-five years. To this end, Boyle is sent to the family estate. Sometimes he comes over to Cambridge - talk to Newton, Oxford - see old friends or to London - Meet with the Sophists. But best of all, he felt at home in his office surrounded by books.

Now it is mainly engaged in philosophical problems. Boyle was known as the largest and theologian of his time. It seemed that they were incompatible disciplines, but the scientist so wrote about this "demon filled my soul with horror and instilled doubt in me the basic truths of religion."

To read the biblical texts in the original, Boyle even studied Greek and Hebrew languages. Even during his lifetime, he established the annual scientific readings in theology and the history of religion.

Third Party Boyle activity has been associated with literature. He had a good style, and has written several poems and a treatise on moral issues.

Robert Boyle died on December 30, 1691 and was buried in Westminster Abbey - the burial place of famous people of England.

Dying, Boyle bequeathed to all of its capital has been used for the development of science in England and on the continuation of the activities of the Royal Society. In addition, he has provided special funds for the annual scientific readings on physics and theology.