Physics is an interesting science. It basically seeks to quantify and define phenomenon that we can observe in our daily lives. Take, for instance, the air pump. It was this simple device that lead to one of the most important definitions in physics: that air (or, later, any ideal gas) will increase in pressure by the same amount the volume is decreased and vice versa at a constant temperature. This gas property lead to the ideal gas law, and is tightly related to many other physics definitions, such as Bernoulli’s principle, that led to steam power, the internal combustion engine, and air travel.
And to think, an air pump built by Robert Boyle and his assistant, Robert Hooke, in 1656 is what led to our wonderful mechanized world. And our ability to fill our tires at almost any gas station.
[Image Credit: Danielle Baxter]