Robert Boyle, Irish chemist

Robert Boyle, Irish chemist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Robert Boyle (1627-1691), Irish chemist. Boyle established chemistry as a separate science and stressed the need for experimental precision and accurate observation. He rejected the theory that four elements (fire, air, water and earth) were the basic constituents of the Universe and postulated that there were a large number of 'elements' which could not be broken down into simpler chemicals. He formulated Boyle's law, which states that for a gas at a constant temperature the product of its pressure and volume is a constant.

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