Engraved bras plates from the Boyle Collection, 13 March 1770.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Boyle Collection contained a number of mathematical models and books, and was incorporated into the King George III Collection in 1770. Boyle (1627-1691) was the seventh son of the first Earl of Cork. He and his asistant Robert Hooke worked on improvements to the air pump invented by Otto von Guericke. Boyle's many experiments on air, vacuum, combustion, and respiration resulted the publication in 1661 of 'The Sceptical Chymist', in which he criticised current theories of matter, in particular those relating to alchemy. In 1662 he formulated Boyle's Law, which states that the presure and volume of gas are inversely proportional.