Instruments and Experimentation in the History of Chemistry

Instruments and Experimentation in the History of Chemistry

by Frederic L. Holmes
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262082829

ISBN-13: 9780262082822

Pub. Date: 08/21/2000

Publisher: MIT Press

From the days of the alchemists through the creation of the modern laboratory, chemistry has been defined by its instruments and experimental techniques. Historians, however, have tended to focus on the course of chemical theory rather than on the tools and experiments that drove the theory. This volume moves chemical instruments and experiments into the foreground

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Overview

From the days of the alchemists through the creation of the modern laboratory, chemistry has been defined by its instruments and experimental techniques. Historians, however, have tended to focus on the course of chemical theory rather than on the tools and experiments that drove the theory. This volume moves chemical instruments and experiments into the foreground of historical concern, in line with the emphasis on practice that characterizes current work on other fields of science and engineering. The principal themes are: change and stability, precision, the construction and transformation of apparatus, the dissemination of instruments, and the bridging of disciplines through instruments.The essays are divided into three chronological sections: The Practice of Alchemy (reviewing the material and iconographic evidence as well as the written record and the issue of reproducibility of alchemical experiments), From Hales to the Chemical Revolution (discussing significant seventeenth- and eighteenth-century innovations as well as smaller innovations that cumulatively extended the reach and improved the quality of chemical experimentation), and The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (discussing the increasingly important role of innovative apparatus as chemistry grew into the first large-scale modern scientific discipline).Contributors : R. G. W. Anderson, Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Maurice Crosland, Jan Golinski, Frederic L. Holmes, Trevor H. Levere, Seymour H. Mauskopf,William R. Newman, Mary Jo Nye, Lawrence M. Principe, Alan J. Rocke, Colin A.

Russell, William A. Smeaton, Melvyn Usselman.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262082822
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
08/21/2000
Series:
Dibner Institute Studies in the History of Science and Technology
Pages:
437
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Practical Science
Contributors
IThe Practice of Alchemy1
1The Archaeology of Chemistry5
2Alchemy, Assaying, and Experiment35
3Apparatus and Reproducibility in Alchemy55
IIFrom Hales to the Chemical Revolution75
4"Slippery Substances": Some Practical and Conceptual Problems in the Understanding of Gases in the Pre-Lavoisier Era79
5Measuring Gases and Measuring Goodness105
6The Evolution of Lavoisier's Chemical Apparatus137
7"The Chemist's Balance for Fluids": Hydrometers and Their Multiple Identities, 1770-1810153
8"Fit Instruments": Thermometers in Eighteenth-Century Chemistry185
9Platinum and Ground Glass: Some Innovations in Chemical Apparatus by Guyton de Morveau and Others211
IIIThe Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries239
10Multiple Combining Proportions: The Experimental Evidence243
11Organic Analysis in Comparative Perspective: Liebig, Dumas, and Berzelius, 1811-1837273
12Chemical Techniques in a Preelectronic Age: The Remarkable Apparatus of Edward Frankland311
13Bridging Chemistry and Physics in the Experimental Study of Gunpowder335
14Laboratory Practice and the Physical Chemistry of Michael Polanyi367
Index401

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