Friday, October 28, 2016

Discovery of Boyle's Law

Boyle’s Law is one of the laws in physics that concern the behavior of gasses. The law states that if gas is held at constant temperature, its volume is inversely proportional to its pressure.

Robert William Boyle (1627-1691) was the first to investigate the relationship between the pressure P of an enclosed amount of air and its volume V; he provides a classic example of the way in which the collection of data can lead to a functional law.

Robert Boyle is a Anglo-Irish physicist and chemist. He was born in Lismore Castle, Ireland, the 14th child of the Earl of Cork, a great Elizabethan adventurer.

He was educated at Eton, where he was one of the first of the ‘gentleman’ students and then traveled extensively on the Continent, continuing his education at Geneva.

Robert William Boyle (1627-1691)
The relationship between pressure and volume was noted by two amateur scientists, Richard Towneley and Henry Power. Boyle confirmed their discovery through experiments and published the results. This statement had been asserted more precisely in a later edition of his New Experiments in the version which subsequently became known as ‘Boyle’s Law’.

According to Robert Gunther and other authorities it was Boyle’s assistant Robert Hooke, who built the experiments apparatus. Using an improved vacuum pump built for him by Robert Hooke, Boyle was able to obtain a large evacuated space in which several new experiments could be done.

The French physicist Edme Mariotte (1629-16824) discovered the same law independently of Boyle in 1676, but Boyle had already published it in 1662, so this law may, improperly, be referred to as Mariotte’s or the Boyle-Mariotte law. Marriot used a mercury barometer to establish that the ratio of the volumes of two gases is equal to the ratio of weights that exert pressure upon them – a statement equivalent to Boyle’s law.
Discovery of Boyle's Law
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