Robert Boyle

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Scientific Biographies
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Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle

Born: Jan. 251627-Lismore county Waterford ireland

Died Dec. 31 1691 age 64London England

Boyle was the seventh son of fourteen of Richard Boyle

Boyle was fostered as a child to many local foster cares where one of his elders put him in to toutoring at the age of four.When he got older and after his mother died he was sent to Eton College where he began toutoring.

Boyle returned to England in mid-1644 with a keen interest in scientific research

Robert moved to Ireland in 1652 but became frustrated at his inability to make progress in his chemical work.In 1654,Boyle left Ireland for Oxford to pursue his work more successfully

Reading in 1657 of Otto von Guericke's air pump, he set himself with the assistance of Robert Hooke to devise improvements in its construction, and with the result, the "machina Boyleana" or "Pneumatical Engine", finished in 1659, he began a series of experiments on the properties of air.

An account of Boyle's work with the air pump was published in 1660 under the title New Experiments Physico-Mechanicall, Touching the Spring of the Air, and its Effects.

He made a "wish list" of 24 possible inventions which included "the prolongation of life", the "art of flying", "perpetual light", "making armour light and extremely hard", "a ship to sail with all winds, and a ship not to be sunk", "practicable and certain way of finding longitudes", "potent drugs to alter or exalt imagination, waking, memory and other functions and appease pain, procure innocent sleep, harmless dreams, etc." They are extraordinary because all but a few of the 24 have come true

In 1689 his health, never very strong, began to fail seriously and he gradually withdrew from his public engagements,

His health became still worse in 1691, and he died on 31 December that year


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