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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