Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Robert William Boyle

Robert William Boyle (1627-1691) was perhaps the most influential scientist in the late seventeenth century. His profuse extant manuscripts, which total over 20,000 leaves, constitute one of the most important archives to have come down from his period.

English theologian and scientist, Boyle was born January 25, 1627 at Lismore Castle, Ireland, the penultimate of fifteen children of the Earl of Cork and his second wife.
Robert William Boyle had the clarity of thought to think beyond the common practices and beliefs of Aristotle and the alchemists and to approach the study of matter using the scientific method, which is based on hypotheses, experimentation, and logical analysis.

Much of this is described in his 1661 book The Skeptical Chymist, in which he describes his skepticism, not of chemistry, but of the common premise of alchemy.

Boyle examined crystals, explored color, devised an acid-base indicator from the syrup of violets, and provided the first modern definition of an element. He was also physiologist and was the frost to show that the healthy human body has a constant temperature.
Robert William Boyle
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