Download e-book for iPad: Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of by William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe

By William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe

Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the heritage 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 rules 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 well-liked American medical author prior to Benjamin Franklin as their consultant, Newman and Principe demonstrate the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a recognized alchemist and argue that the various rules and practices attribute of recent chemistry derive from alchemy. by way of examining Starkey's remarkable 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 examine as a shockingly crucial determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a typical emphasis on quantification, fabric construction, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of targets and practices from overdue medieval alchemy right down to and past the Chemical Revolution.

For an individual who desires to know how alchemy was once really practiced through the medical Revolution and what it contributed to the advance of contemporary chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire might 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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