• AIR PUMPS , PHYSICS AND BIRDS

AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN THE AIR PUMP

JOSEPH WRIGHT 'OF DERBY'  1768

With thanks to the National Gallery for the image.


I spent an afternoon last weekend looking round the London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy , I went with my blog curator's hat scouting the whole place forthe best art of science image. My number one find was a black and white print depicting the original oil painting by Joseph Wright 'of Derby' in the National Gallery.
In the painting we can see a scientist demonstrating the formation of a vacuum by withdrawing air from a flask in which he has placed a bird. 
Without oxygen the bird is going to die.
Robert Boyle invented the air pump with the help of Robert Hooke, in Oxford in around 1656. 
Here is a picture I found to show you his invention:


In 1660 Boyle and eleven other scientists formed the Royal Society to share scietific knowledge amongst scientists.