PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Robert Boyle by George Vertue del et sculp, 1739. J. Kerfesboom pinxt. From an image in the collection of Dr. Mead. Printed 1740. Robert Boyle, 25 Jan 1627 - 31 December 1691. Anglo-irish chemist, physicist and inventor. One of the founders of the Royal Society. Boyle's famous 1659 vacuum pump is in the foreground - containing a mammal about to show that animals cannot live in a vacuum. A variety of plants, chemicals, apparatus books and notes point to his numerous other important experiments on pressure, liquids and gases. Following Bacon's principles (though never avowedly Baconian) he established the experimental method. His work marks the beginning of modern chemistry. He correctly aduced that matter comprised 'corpuscles' which were built of different configurations of primary particles that could not be reduced.
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