July 31, 2020
For educational institutions
History of chemistry
⟶ Updated 14 Nov 2018 ⟶
List of edits
1 Nov 2018
Known metals were recorded and listed in conjunction with heavenly bodies.
During the reign of Hammurabi over Babylon
The Greek philosopher Empedocles, a native of Sicily, introduces a theory which was not accepted in Europe until the 17th century.
He states that all matter is made up, in differing proportions, of four "roots" - earth, air, fire, and water.
Leucippus admitted that there could be no motion if there was no void, and he inferred that it was wrong to identify the void with the non-existent.
Leucippus (Greek) was the first philosopher to state, with a full consciousness of what he was doing, the existence of empty space.
The Pythagorean void had been more or less identified with 'air', but the void of Leucippus was really a vacuum.
he also explained the phenomenon of weight from the size of the atoms and their combustions, but he did not regard weight itself as a primary property of bodies.
Democritean atoms were present in different shapes and sizes
Many consider him to be the father of modern science
Plato was the first person to use the term element.
Plato was also an atomist. Plato's atoms had just two manifestations: isosceles and scalene triangles.
Plato's theory of matter was based on Empedocles's four roots and paired each of these elements with one of the regular solids .
The four possible combinations are the four elements: earth (cold and dry), air (hot and moist), fire (hot and dry), water (cold and moist). But it is the infinitely variable balance between these qualities which creates the different atoms of stone or wood, bone or flesh
Democritus, a student of Leucippus and an atomist, proposed that all matter was made up of tiny, indestructible units, which moved about in an infinite void and combined to create visible objects.
The theory of the four material elements persisted until the end of the eighteenth century.
Suggested that there are two pairs of alternatives - hot and cold, moist and dry - which provide the exact nature of matter.
Aristotle proposed a new theory to explain how the four elements of Empedocles and the atoms of Democritus produce the wide range of substances apprehended by our senses.
Epicurius was an ancient Greek Philosopher, who taught that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space.
Alchemy covered several philosophical traditions spanning some four millennia and three continents.
The city of Alexandria was a center of alchemical knowledge, and retained its pre-eminence through most of the Greek and Roman periods.
After Alexander the Great had conquered Egypt Greek views were merged with Egyptian religion.
The word Alchemy came from the word Khemia, which means Egypt.
They also perfected the process of distillation, equipping their distilling apparatuses with thermometers in order to better regulate the heating during alchemical operations.
besides the word alchemy itself, we see Arabic influence in alcohol (al-kohl), elixir (al-iksir), and alembic (al-inbiq).
Geber analyzed each Aristotelian element in terms of four basic qualities of hotness, coldness, dryness, and moistness. He theorized that every metal was a combination of these four principles, two of them interior and two exterior. He reasoned that the transmutation of one metal into another could be affected by the rearrangement of its basic qualities.
This change would presumably be mediated by a substance, which came to be called al-iksir (elixir). Geber planned to develop the philosopher's stone capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold, useful for rejuvenation and possibly for achieving immortality
The discovery of the solvent later known as aqua regia—a mixture of nitric and muriatic acids—is reported to be one of their most important contributions to later alchemy and chemistry (Geber).
Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid, sulfuric acid, and nitric acid are discoveries of Arabic alchemists, as are soda (al-natrun) and potassium (al-qali).
The Corpus Jabirianum—an impressively large body of alchemical works by Jabir ibn Hayyan was written The Corpus & the alchemical works of Al-Razi, marks the creative peak of Arabic alchemy.
The first translations of alchemical treatises from Greek and Coptic sources into Arabic were reportedly commissioned by Khalid ibn Yazid, who died around the beginning of the 8th century
Arabs occupied Egypt and further developed the science, and later spread it to the West (Spain)
Alchemy began as a quest to know the world around us — its composition as well as our own. That quest for knowledge required an understanding of chemical processes, and while alchemy itself would not survive the Enlightenment (the Age of Reason of the 17th and 18th centuries), the quest it began continues today in chemistry.
The second group continued to look at the more spiritual, metaphysical side of alchemy, continuing the search for the perfect elixir - led to modern idea of alchemy
Invented percolation, extraction, rudimentary chromatography.
In the west, alchemists focused on the discovery of new compounds, reactions, and chemical processes - led to the science of chemistry.
After proving Aristotle's four-elements theory was false the publishing of the book, "The Skeptical Chemist", destroyed alchemy
alchemists in Europe had separated into two groups
Oldest written description of lodestone used as a compass.
Robert Boyle Formulated the fundamental gas laws. First to propose that the combination of small particles form molecules. Differentiated between compounds and mixtures.
Evangelista Torricelli Invented the mercury barometer
Otto von Guericke constructed the first vacuum pump.
From the Ancient Greek phlogistón "burning up"
first stated in 1667 by Johann Joachim Becher
assumed the existence of a fire-like element called "phlogiston", which was contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion.
A substance that burned did so because it apparently contained Phlogiston.
Carbon Dioxide, no longer capable of burning was called “dephlogisticated air”
Jams Bradley Uses aberration of starlight to determine the speed of light to within 5%. accuracy
Joseph Priestley Discovered oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide.
Proposed electrical inverse-square law
C.W. Scheele Discovered chlorine, tartaric acid, metal oxidation, and sensitivity of silver compounds to light (photochemistry).
Nicholas Le Blanc Invented process for making soda ash from sodium sulfate, limestone, and coal.
A.L. Lavoisier regarded as the Father of Chemistry. Discovered nitrogen. Described the composition of many organic compounds.
A. Volta Invented the electric battery.
C.L. Berthollet Corrected Lavoiser’s theory of acids. Discovered bleaching ability of chlorine. Analyzed combining weights of atoms (stoichiometry).
Edward Jenner Development of smallpox vaccine
Benjamin Franklin Demonstrated that lightning is electricity Discovered that electrical charges come in 2 varieties – positive and negative. Like charges repel, opposite charges attract.
Dispelled the Phlogiston Theory by proving that Oxygen causes combustion.
Discovered the Law of Conservation of Mass
Beheaded during French Revolution
Joseph Louis Proust The Law of Definite Proportions, sometimes called The Law of Constant Composition, states that a chemical compound always contains exactly the same proportion of elements by mass.
Charles Coulomb discovered that given two particles separated by a certain distance, the force of attraction or repulsion is directly proportional to the product of the two charges and is inversely proportional to the distance between the two charges.
Alchemy part 1
Alchemy part 2
Alchemy part 3
The Phlogiston Theory
About & Feedback