Robert Boyle was born in the family of the Earl of Cork, an aristocrat of the time of Queen Elizabeth of England. He made an invaluable contribution to science – he turned, according to Engels, chemistry into a real scientific discipline. Besides, his famous law discovered independently of Mariotte and even before the Frenchman became one of the fundamental laws to immortalize Boyle’s name. Just in case, we will remind: the product of its pressure and volume is constant at a constant temperature and mass of an ideal gas.
The offspring of an old aristocratic family was supposed to study at Eton College. Robert Boyle was sent there. Then his father took him from Eton and sent him to continue his education in Europe. In compliance with the ideas of his time, he was studying philosophy, jurisprudence, and mathematics. It was very beneficial for science that Boyle was rich. With his own funds, he equipped a laboratory in Oxford and initiated experiments and inferences from them. He experimented with the air pump – these experiments resulted in that glorified law; he experimented with void space that he also decided to call “vacuum.” And then, after switching to chemistry, he looked at it, as he said, not as a doctor and not as an alchemist, but as a philosopher. It was Boyle who introduced the notion of “analysis” into chemistry and was the first scientist to try to understand what a chemical element was. Among other things, he found out that the infusions of many plants were able to change their color under the influence of acids and alkalis. The best substance for this purpose was that extracted from lichen – “litmus.” In addition, by combining an infusion of a gall nut with iron salts, he obtained a black solution that was used as ink for a century.