Robert Boyle (1627-1691) is known as “The Father of Chemistry” for his discovery that atoms must exist based on the relationship between pressure and volume of gas. His theorem called Boyle’s Law reasons that because a fixed mass of gas can be compressed, gas must be made of particles, or atoms, because there is space between them. Boyle’s discoveries helped bring chemistry into the modern age.Know More
Robert Boyle was born in County Waterford, Ireland and studied at Eton College and Oxford University in England. While at Oxford, he carried out numerous experiments with Robert Hooke and other “natural philosophers,” as scientists were often called during his time. He then moved to London, where he began publishing his discoveries. The law he is most famous for was published in a text entitled “The Spring of the Air.” Boyle proposed that “the volume of a fixed mass of gas at a constant temperature is inversely proportional to the gas’s pressure.” Though his atomic theory did not get further than proposing that atoms must exist, it was still an essential building block in the overall history of atomic theory.
Boyle’s discoveries were important, but his methods also had a share in ushering in a new age of scientific exploration. Boyle made a sharp distinction between the mysticism of alchemical experimentation that was popular at the time and the fact-based evidence gleaned from his chemical experiments.Learn More
Robert Millikan contributed to atomic theory by measuring the charge on an electron. He accomplished this by pulling the electrical charge out of a water or oil molecule and measuring it.Full Answer >
Aristotle contributed to modern atomic theory by introducing alchemy, an ideology that chemists eventually rebelled against. Aristotle argued alchemy above observation and scientific research. His beliefs held that the world was made of elements endlessly divisible.Full Answer >
Dmitri Mendeleev published his periodic table of elements in 1869. His table arranged the known elements according to their chemical properties and in order of their relative atomic mass. This created several gaps in the periodic table and allowed him to predict eight other undiscovered elements correctly.Full Answer >
J. J. Thompson's atomic theory described the inner structure of atoms. According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, the Thompson atomic theory stated that atoms are uniform spheres of positively charged matter with electrons embedded. The theory was proposed around 1900 by Lord Kelvin and was heavily supported by Sir Joseph John Thompson.Full Answer >