Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of by William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe 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 background of technological know-how 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 consultant, the formerly misunderstood interactions among Robert Boyle, well known as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the main renowned American medical author ahead of Benjamin Franklin as their advisor, Newman and Principe exhibit the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a recognized alchemist and argue that some of the rules and practices attribute of recent chemistry derive from alchemy. via reading 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 exciting "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favourite of Starkey, Boyle, or even of Lavoisier—emerges from this examine as a shockingly crucial determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a standard 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 a person who desires to know the way alchemy used to be really practiced through the clinical Revolution and what it contributed to the advance of recent chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire may 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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