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Boyle describes his examination of a liquid made accidentally by a mathematics teacher who set a mixture of ingredients on fire and then put out the flame with water. The resulting liquid continued moving for several days. Boyle was unable to determine the reason for this.

Subject: Chemistry

Published in Philosophical Transactions as 'An historical account of a strangely self-moving liquor.'

Sent to the Royal Society on 28 October 1685.

Reference number
Earliest possible date
Physical description
Ink on paper
Page extent
4 pages

Creator name

Robert Boyle

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Robert Boyle, Paper, 'An historical account of a strangely self-moving liquor' by [Robert] Boyle, 1685, CLP/11i/31, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 23 July 2024

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  • Classified Papers

    Dates: 1592-1741

    The 'Classified Papers' of the Royal Society are papers from British and international natural philosophers and scholars categorised according to subject areas.

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