The Sceptical Chymist
November 11, 2005 7:23 AM   Subscribe

The Works of natural philosopher Robert Boyle (1627 - 1697) at the Robert Boyle Project, based at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Widely regarded as the first modern chemist (his book The Sceptical Chymist is perhaps the founding text of chemistry as a science), he was also an alchemist and made significant contributions in physics (for example Boyle's law) and physiology.
The Robert Boyle homepage has as its centrepiece a large collection of images of Boyles' papers. Images and transcriptions of his marvellous work diaries are available at the AHRC Centre for Editing Lives and Letters.
posted by thatwhichfalls (5 comments total)
(Note: the work diaries site looks like crap in everything except IE sadly.)

The workdiaries are particularly wonderful and clearly show how Boyle was interested in everything (extracts chosen almost at random):

"I saw a rose bush that had an ordinary Stocke and it beares Damaske roses white roses Rosa Mudi's and yellow roses. The white were full blowne, the red leaves of the Rosa Mundi began to appeare betwixt the green. The yellow were not yet blowne but there was great store're' inserted, replacing 'w' deleted of them. "

"About 3 months before the late great Plague began in London (in the year 1665) there came to Dr. M. a Patient of his to desire his advice for her Husband, & the Dr. haveing enquird what aild him, she answerd that his cheef Distemper was a swelling in his Groine, & upon that occasion added that her husband assurd her of his being confident that the next Summer the Plague would be very rife in London, for which Prædiction he gave this reason that in the last great Plague he fell sick of that Desease; & he then had a Pestilentiall Tumor'T' altered from 'h', soe in 2 other Plagues that since happen'd though much inferior to that great one, each of them had a riseing in his Body to be its forerunner, & now haveing ‹a› great tumor in the forementiond place he doubted not but it would be follow'd by a rageing Pestilence, which accordingly ensu'd. Haveing heard much talk of something of this nature by the Dr. I enquir'd of him how much of it was true, & receivd for answer the foregoeing narrative."

"The little Loadstone I weare in a gold Ring with one Pole tooke up a key that weighd 159 grains."
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:25 AM on November 11, 2005

Main link via Science NetWatch.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:27 AM on November 11, 2005

There's a great pub next to where he's buried.
posted by veedubya at 7:55 AM on November 11, 2005

I recently read Neil Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle which is great reading and it focuses on the emergence of science and natural philosophy in this era.

Good reading.
posted by delmoi at 10:29 AM on November 11, 2005

Anytime a post like this gets put up it makes me want to do a fourth reading of The Barouqe Cycle.

I loved those books a little too much for my own good.
posted by sourwookie at 11:39 AM on November 11, 2005

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