William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe's Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of PDF

By William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe

ISBN-10: 0226577023

ISBN-13: 9780226577029

ISBN-10: 0226577112

ISBN-13: 9780226577111

Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the heritage of technology Society.


What truly happened within the deepest laboratory of a mid-seventeenth century alchemist? How did he direct his quest after the secrets and techniques of Nature? What tools and theoretical ideas did he employ?

Using, as their advisor, the formerly misunderstood interactions among Robert Boyle, widely recognized as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the main admired American clinical author prior to Benjamin Franklin as their consultant, Newman and Principe display the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a well-known alchemist and argue that a number of the rules and practices attribute of recent chemistry derive from alchemy. through studying Starkey's notable laboratory notebooks, the authors exhibit how this American "chymist" translated the wildly figurative writings of conventional alchemy into quantitative, rigorously reasoned laboratory practice—and then encoded his personal paintings in allegorical, secretive treatises below the identify of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The exciting "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favourite of Starkey, Boyle, or even of Lavoisier—emerges from this learn as a shockingly principal determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a standard emphasis on quantification, fabric construction, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of ambitions and practices from past due medieval alchemy all the way down to and past the Chemical Revolution.

For an individual who desires to know how alchemy used to be really practiced in the course of the clinical Revolution and what it contributed to the improvement of recent chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire can be a veritable philosopher's stone.

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Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry by William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe

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