Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of - download pdf or read online

By William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe

Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the historical past of technology Society.


What really came about 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 rules did he employ?

Using, as their consultant, the formerly misunderstood interactions among Robert Boyle, widely recognized as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the main in demand American medical author sooner than Benjamin Franklin as their advisor, Newman and Principe demonstrate the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a well-known alchemist and argue that some of the rules and practices attribute of contemporary chemistry derive from alchemy. via interpreting Starkey's impressive laboratory notebooks, the authors convey 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 interesting "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favourite of Starkey, Boyle, or even of Lavoisier—emerges from this learn as an incredibly primary determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a typical emphasis on quantification, fabric creation, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of targets and practices from overdue medieval alchemy all the way down to and past the Chemical Revolution.

For someone who desires to know the way alchemy was once really practiced through the medical Revolution and what it contributed to the advance of contemporary chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire should 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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