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Drawing of Boyle's first air pump, 1654

Drawing of Boyle's first air pump, 1654

V500/0013

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Boyle's first air pump. Diagram showing the first air pump used by Robert Boyle (1627-91) for experiments with the vacuum. The air pump was an improvement on the design of Guericke, and was made with the assistance of Robert Hooke in 1654. Boyle used this to produce a vacuum for a variety of experiments. He showed that Galileo was correct in maintaining that in a vacuum, all things fall at the same rate. He also demonstrated that sound can not traverse a vacuum, but an electric field can. At the time, a vacuum made by an air pump was referred to as a Boylean vacuum.

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