Download e-book for kindle: 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 historical past of technological know-how Society.


What really happened within the inner most 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 in demand American clinical author sooner than 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 ideas and practices attribute of contemporary chemistry derive from alchemy. by way of studying Starkey's remarkable laboratory notebooks, the authors convey how this American "chymist" translated the wildly figurative writings of conventional alchemy into quantitative, conscientiously 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 important 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 past due medieval alchemy right down to and past the Chemical Revolution.

For somebody who desires to know the way alchemy used to be truly practiced throughout the clinical 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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