The New Experimentalism: Robert Boyle and the Air Pump Robert Boyle (1627–91, English): wealthy nobleman interested in chemistry and ‘the new philosophy’; followed Bacon in emphasizing observable ‘matters of fact’ over speculative ‘hypotheses.’ In late 1650s, Boyle read that Otto von Guericke (1602–86, German) had found a way to pump air from a sealed metal box. Boyle and his assistant Robert Hooke (1635–1703) built an improved air pump with a glass vessel; began experiments. In New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, Touching the Spring of the Air and its Effects (1660), Boyle reported on air pump experiments involving fire, sound, light, etc. Showed that air was ‘springy’; by measuring the compression of air
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course HISTORY 322D taught by Professor Hunt during the Fall '11 term at University of Texas.