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Lecture 3

HPS211H1 Lecture 3: Lecture Notes 01-27-2016

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History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
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HPS211 – 27/01/2016 p. 55-78 The Chemical Revolution Chemistry Unreformed - Alchemy found its roots in Greek alchemy (trying to understand processes of metalwork & fundamental elements of matter - Searching for the philosophers stone - Medicinal properties of substances - Parcelsus, properties of matter were the precursor to successful chemistry, remedies for disease based on properties of natural substances (iatrochemistry), four elements (fire, air, earth, water), tria prima (salt, sulphur, mercury) - Van Helmont, denied existence of the four elements & tria prima, only element is water, did the water and tree experiment where the tree gained weight but the earth it was growing in didn’t, interested in physiological processes such as digestion - Boyle, everything is matter in motion, wanted to embrace chemical and mechanical chemistry part of natural philosophy - Stahl, phlogiston as a way of explaining metallurgical processes, pure metals are a combination of metal ores (calxes) and phlogiston - Wright, pneumatic chemistry, his painting shows birds breathing different airs, middle class mist watch the scientific experiment, transformed language of chemistry - Hales, natural philosophy of plants, developed the pneumatic trough - Black, by heating magnesium, he could make “fixed air” (carbon dioxide), tested air by reacting with acids and alkalis - Priestly, found nitrous oxide and dephlogisticated air (oxygen), new philosophy of nature, burning released phlogiston and plants consume it, believed in divine benevolence - Beddoes, advocate of Priestly’s views, believed health could be achieved by a proper balance of stimulants and sedatives - Davy, chemical and medicinal properties, abandoned phlogiston theory, first soda water, eudiometer (mixed air, to be tested in a glass tube with nitrous air) - Morveau, phlogiston may have negative weight - Lavoisier, convinced air must have a role in combustion, introduced oxygen (acid former), abandoned phlogiston theory, hydrogen (water former), whole new chemical language, elements were substances that could not be decomposed any further, carefully weighted ingredients, Chemistry Reformed - Davy, undermined the idea that acidity depends on oxygen, used electrochemical processes to isolate chemicals - Dalton, matter may be composed of indivisible particles, atomic theory, elements would always bind together in the simplest ratios (assumption) - Berzelius, classified elements in electropositive and electronegative, used the battery, electrochemical atomic theory, introduced a new nomenclature (closest to the modern day nomenclature) The Scientific Revolution 1) The beginning of a period of new found reliance on observation and detailed experimental practice to study nature. 2) The beginning of period of new found reliance on mathematical reasoning and abstraction to understand the inner structure of the world. Aristotle’s Qualities - The four qualities: Hot, Cold, Wet, and Dry. - Earth was cold and dry, Water was cold and wet, Air was hot and wet, and Fire was hot and dry. - The mixture to produce all known substances Alchemy - Began as philosophical and practical study - Loosely aligned with Aristotle, isolating and manipulating basic elements - Controlling nature was practical and a means to elicit secrets - What you impose the qualities of “x” on “y”, then “y” becomes “x” - Religious/mythical practice - Saw the development of many practical traits - Hayyan, Paracelsus, Van Helmont were famous alchemists Boyle - Decided air had spring to it - Saw chemistry as a tool for probing nature - Galileo’s claims began to have truth to them - Doesn’t support alchemical beliefs - Corpuscular: material bodies c
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