What are Robert Boyle’s Contributions to Science and Chemistry?June 27, 2021
In 1654 or 1655, at the age of 27-28, Boyle moved to the university town of Oxford in England.
There, he hoped to find a scientifically productive environment. He rented rooms and set up a laboratory. He never formally attended university; He was so wealthy that he needed neither salary nor investment for his experimental work. In 1655 he had the opportunity to meet Robert Hooke, a young university student. Due to Hooke’s extraordinary aptitude for mechanical equipment, Boyle recruited him as a lab assistant.
Otto von Guericke had invented the vacuum pump in 1654. Boyle learned of this in 1657 and piqued his interest. He discussed the concept of the vacuum pump with Hooke, who developed Von Guericke’s design. Boyle and Hooke conducted experiments investigating the properties of air and vacuum using Hooke’s pump. While experimenting with air, Boyle and Hooke made their first discovery, known as Boyle’s Law. They used mercury to change the pressure inside the tube on a constant weight of air. Boyle discovered that pressure multiplied by volume is constant. In other words, when you increase the pressure on a gas, the gas volume predictably shrinks.
This was the first gas law discovered. The next gas law, Charles’ Law, was discovered more than a hundred years later, in 1787. Boyle published this result in 1662. With this publication, he imitated his hero, Galileo, for the first time. Galileo firmly believed that the world could be explained by mathematics – in fact, as Pythagoras did in earlier times. Boyle had now shown experimentally that air follows the laws of mathematics.
Boyle discovered that sound cannot pass through a vacuum. He did this by ringing a bell placed inside a 28 liter glass jar. The bell was rung with the help of a magnet outside the jar. The sound of the bell was getting weaker and weaker as he pumped air out of the jar. Obviously, in performing this experiment, Boyle also showed that magnetic forces can pass through a vacuum—otherwise the bell wouldn’t ring. Although not fully appreciated at the time, this was actually an extremely important moment in science. Boyle had shown that physical forces could pass through a vacuum. Moreover, he showed that light could pass through a vacuum because when the air was pumped out of the jar, everything in the jar remained perfectly visible. Boyle showed using candles that vacuum does not support combustion. He also discovered that only part of the air supports combustion – a very small part, he thought. (At this stage, none of the elements that make up air have been discovered. The discovery of oxygen lies in the next hundred years.)
Boyle also showed that air has weight, although it was previously demonstrated by Evangelista Torricelli in 1644, and it seems that it was known in Ancient Greece by Empedocles 2,100 years ago.
He made great contributions to the field of chemistry with Boyle’s book “The Skeptical Chemist” published in 1661. Boyle started to create the science of chemistry from the secrets of alchemy and argued that many of those who deal with alchemy are not interested in investigating the root cause of events. The basis of Boyle’s ambition was to re-apply Galileo’s ideas to the laws of chemistry. In this way, he thought that the world could be understood with mathematics. Boyle wanted to turn chemistry into a computational science.
Just as Galileo rejected Aristotle’s theory, Boyle also rejected Aristotle’s elements. elements of Aristotle; earth, water, air and fire. Boyle also rejected Paracelsus’ principles of salt, sulfur and mercury. Boyle defined elements as simple substances that cannot be destroyed in nature. He stated that compounds were produced by pairing elements with new substances, whereas mixtures, on the contrary, did not consist of new substances.
Galileo and Rene Descartes believed that all matter consists of atoms, but Descartes thought that this could be invalid. Boyle predicted that atoms could have a vacuum (vacuum), based on ideas he formed from his own experiments. In this way, they developed this idea with Democritus. Boyle stated that the behavior of matter in chemistry could be possible by explaining the states of atoms using Galileo’s mathematical equations. Boyle’s work has proven correct because today we can understand chemistry mathematically with quantum mechanics. Thinking like an Alchemist, Boyle predicted that one element would transform into another. And Boyle thought this idea could be successful, thanks to the arrangement of the fundamental particles that make up the elements. This idea was first succeeded by Ernest Rutherford in 1919 by converting nitrogen to oxygen. As Thomas Tomson said; If we look at chemistry before Boyle, Boyle reconstructed chemistry.
Heat was poorly understood before 1800 years. Associated with the behavior of a non-existent substance called caloric in the 1700s