GARY BROWN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY BROWN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Robert Boyle. Caricature of the Irish physicist and chemist Robert Boyle (1627-1691), pointing at his air pump. Boyle used this pump, which he made with the assistance of Robert Hooke in 1654, to study the effects of pressure on gases. It could produce a reasonable vacuum, which allowed him to show that sound cannot travel through a vacuum, and that objects fall at the same rate in the absence of air. Boyle is best remembered for Boyle's Law, which states that at a given temperature, the volume of a gas is proportional to its pressure.
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