17th century chemistry


Towards the end of the 17th century, classic alchemy had been all but replaced with chemistry.  The transition period in the 1600s saw an increased interest in two main areas – the chemistry of gases, and the behaviour of falling bodies. 

This culminated in the book ‘The Skeptical Chymist’ (1661), by Robert Boyle (see left), in which he showed that old teachings should not be blindly accepted, and whose work included describing how gases are atoms with lots of empty space between them, accounting for their compressibility, and Isaac Newton’s book ‘Principia Mathmematica’ (1687), which introduced three laws of motion and explained his theory of gravitiation, inspired by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).


Boyle: image reproduced from http://dbhs.wvusd.k12.ca.us/gallery/html


18th century chemistry

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