Boyle, Charles, 4th earl of Orrery: see Orrery, Charles Boyle, 4th earl of.
Boyle, Kay, 1903-93, American writer, b. St. Paul, Minn. A European expatriate in the interwar years, she returned to Europe as a correspondent for the New Yorker (1946-53) and subsequently taught English at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State Univ.). Her novels and stories often illuminate a desperate moment when courageous action is demanded although tragedy will probably result. Among her works are the novel Plagued by Nightingales (1931); short-story collections, Nothing Ever Breaks Except the Heart (1966) and Fifty Stories (1980); and a collection of essays, The Long Walk at San Francisco State and Other Essays (1970).

See biography by J. Mellen (1994).

Boyle, Richard, 1st earl of Cork, 1566-1643, English settler in Ireland. He first went to Ireland in 1588 and in 1602 purchased for a small sum Sir Walter Raleigh's large landholdings in Cork, Waterford, and Tipperary. His energy and success in improving the lands, building mills, establishing ironworks and other industries, founding towns, and creating trade were remarkable and won him rapid advancement. Created earl of Cork in 1620, he was appointed (1629) one of the lord justices of Ireland and in 1631 became lord high treasurer of the kingdom. In this position he came into conflict with Thomas Wentworth (later 1st earl of Strafford), who arrived in Ireland as lord deputy in 1633. In their long struggle Strafford at first was successful in depriving Boyle of a large part of his privileges and income, but Boyle's patient marshaling of the forces of opposition to Strafford's Irish program was an important factor in the latter's downfall. Two of his seven sons became well known—Roger Boyle, 1st earl of Orrery, and Robert Boyle, the scientist.

See D. Townshend, The Life and Letters of the Great Earl of Cork (1904).

Boyle, Robert, 1627-91, Anglo-Irish physicist and chemist. The seventh son of the 1st earl of Cork, he was educated at Eton and on the Continent and conducted most of his researches at his own laboratories at Oxford (1654-68) and London (1668-91). He invented a vacuum pump and used it in the discovery (1662) of what is now known as Boyle's law (see gas laws). Boyle is often referred to as the father of modern chemistry; he separated chemistry from alchemy and gave the first precise definitions of a chemical element, a chemical reaction, and chemical analysis. He also made studies of the calcination of metals, combustion, acids and bases, the nature of colors, and the propagation of sound. Although he was especially noted for his experimental work, Boyle also contributed to physical theory, supporting an early form of the atomic theory of matter, which he called the corpuscular philosophy, and using it to explain many of his experimental results. His extensive writings contributed greatly to the dominance of the mechanistic theory following Newton's work. Boyle was one of the group at Oxford that later became the Royal Society, but he refused the presidency of the society in 1680, as well as many other honors.

See his works, ed. by T. Birch (6 vol., 1772; repr. 1965-66); biography by R. E. W. Maddison (1969); study by M. B. Hall (1958, repr. 1968).

Boyle, Roger, Baron Broghill and 1st earl of Orrery: see Orrery, Roger Boyle, 1st earl of.
Boyle, T. C. (Thomas John Coraghessan Boyle), 1948-, American writer, b. Peekskill, N.Y., grad. State Univ. of New York (B.A. 1968), Univ. of Iowa (M.F.A. 1974, Ph.D. 1977). He published under the name T. Coraghessan Boyle until the mid-1990s. Influenced by such literary heroes as Evelyn Waugh, Gabriel García Márquez, and Flannery O'Connor, he has become known for his wildly imaginative, simile-rich, manically jumpy yet highly polished polysyllabic prose as well as for his satiric bent and hipster-tinged black humor. Boyle's settings range from the historical to the contemporary, his subject matter often edging into the quirky, strange, or bizarre. He first came to critical attention with his short stories in the mid-1970s; they and those that followed have been gathered in such collections as The Descent of Man (1979), If the River Was Whiskey (1990), T. C. Boyle Stories (1998), After the Plague (2001), and Tooth and Claw (2005). He is also a prolific novelist whose books include Water Music (1981), World's End (1987), East Is East (1990), The Road to Wellville (1993; film, 1994), The Tortilla Curtain (1995), Riven Rock (1998), Drop City (2003), The Inner Circle (2004), and Talk Talk (2006). Boyle has taught at the Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, since 1978.
Boyle, Willard Sterling, 1924-, Canadian-American solid-state physicist, b. Amherst, N.S., Canada, Ph.D. McGill Univ., Montreal, 1950. Boyle was a researcher at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., from 1950 until his retirement in 1979. He shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics with George Smith and Charles Kao. Boyle and Smith were awarded the prize for their invention of the charge-coupled device (CCD), an imaging semiconductor circuit that laid the foundation for digital photography and is also used in medical diagnostics equipment, imaging devices in modern telescopes, and video cameras. Boyle also worked on lasers and integrated circuits at Bell Laboratories, where he ended his career as executive director of research (1975-79).
Boyle's law (sometimes referred to as the Boyle-Mariotte law) is one of several gas laws and a special case of the ideal gas law. Boyle's law describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant within a closed system. The law was named after chemist and physicist, Robert Boyle who published the original law in 1662. The law itself can be defined as follows:

For a fixed amount of gas kept at a fixed temperature, P and V are inversely proportional (while one increases, the other decreases).


Boyle's Law is named after the Irish natural philosopher Robert Boyle (Lismore, County Waterford, 1627-1691) who was the first to publish it in 1662. The relationship between pressure and volume was brought to the attention of Boyle by two friends and amateur scientists, Richard Towneley and Henry Power, who discovered it. Boyle confirmed their discovery through experiments and published the results. According to Robert Gunther and other authorities, Boyle's assistant Robert Hooke, who built the experimental apparatus, may well have helped to quantify the law; Hooke was accounted a more able mathematician than Boyle. Hooke also developed the improved vacuum pumps necessary for the experiments. The French physicist Edme Mariotte (1620-1684) discovered the same law independently of Boyle in 1676, so this law may be referred to as Mariotte's or the Boyle-Mariotte law.


Relation to kinetic theory and ideal gases

Boyle’s law states that at constant temperature, the absolute pressure and the volume of a gas are inversely proportional. The law can also be stated in a slightly different manner, that the product of absolute pressure and volume is always constant.

Most gasses behave like ideal gasses at moderate pressures and temperatures. The limited technology of the 1600s could not produce high pressures or low temperatures. Hence, the law was not likely to have deviations at the time of publication. As improvements in technology permitted higher pressures and lower temperatures, deviations from the ideal gas behavior would become noticeable, and the relationship between pressure and volume can only be accurately described employing real gas theory. The deviation is expressed as the compressibility factor.

Robert Boyle (and Edme Mariotte) derived the law solely on experimental grounds. The law can also be derived theoretically based on the presumed existence of atoms and molecules and assumptions about motion and perfectly elastic collisions (see kinetic theory of gases). These assumptions were met with enormous resistance in the positivist scientific community at the time however, as they the seen as purely theoretical constructs for which there was not the slightest observational evidence.

Daniel Bernoulli in 1738 derived Boyle's law using Newton's laws of motion with application on a molecular level. It remained ignored until around 1845, when John Waterston published a paper building the main precepts of kinetic theory; this was rejected by the Royal Society of England. Later works of James Prescott Joule, Rudolf Clausius and in particular Ludwig Boltzmann firmly established the kinetic theory of gases and brought attention to both the theories of Bernoulli and Waterston.

The debate between proponents of Energetics and Atomism led Boltzmann to write a book in 1898, which endured criticism up to his suicide in 1901. Albert Einstein in 1905 showed how kinetic theory applied to the Brownian motion of a fluid-suspended particle, which was confirmed in 1908 by Jean Perrin.


The mathematical equation for Boyle's law is:

qquadqquad PV = k


P denotes the pressure of the system.
V is the volume of the gas.
k is a constant value representative of the pressure and volume of the system.

So long as temperature remains constant at the same value the same amount of energy given to the system persists throughout its operation and therefore, theoretically, the value of k will remain constant. However, due to the derivation of pressure as perpendicular applied force and the probabilistic likelihood of collisions with other particles through collision theory, the application of force to a surface may not be infinitely constant for such values of k, but will have a limit when differentiating such values over a given time.

Forcing the volume V of the fixed quantity of gas to increase, keeping the gas at the initially measured temperature, the pressure p must decrease proportionally. Conversely, reducing the volume of the gas increases the pressure.

Boyle's law is commonly used to predict the result of introducing a change, in volume and pressure only, to the initial state of a fixed quantity of gas. The "before" and "after" volumes and pressures of the fixed amount of gas, where the "before" and "after" temperatures are the same (heating or cooling will be required to meet this condition), are related by the equation:

p_1 V_1 = p_2 V_2. ,

Boyle's law, Charles' law, and Gay-Lussac's Law form the combined gas law. The three gas laws in combination with Avogadro's law can be generalized by the ideal gas law.

See also


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