Boyle rejected Aristotle's idea that matter is made of 4 elements water, air, fire, and earth. Utilizing this improved air pump, Boyle devised experiments to explore the properties of air. This description of a viper in a vacuum was the first recorded description of decompression sickness.
Among his most influential writings were The Sceptical Chymistwhich assailed the then-current Aristotelian and especially Paracelsian notions about the composition of matter and methods of chemical analysisand the Origine of Formes and Qualitieswhich used chemical phenomena to support the corpuscularian hypothesis.
Among the measures of identity and purity were color, specific gravity, crystal shape, flame tests, solubility, precipitates, and reaction to standardized reagents.
In he began investigating nature via scientific experimentation, a process that enthralled him. However, Boyle did not realize there are different kinds of particles. He further supposed that the elements were ultimately composed of particles of various sorts and sizes, into which, however, they were not to be resolved in any known way.
Sculpture of a young boy, thought to be Boyle, on his parents' monument in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. He sponsored many religious missions as well as the translation of the Scriptures into several languages. In one letter, he described Ireland as "a barbarous country where chemical spirits were so misunderstood and chemical instruments so unprocurable that it was hard to have any Hermetic thoughts in it.