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 heritage of technological know-how Society.


What truly 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 ideas did he employ?

Using, as their advisor, the formerly misunderstood interactions among Robert Boyle, well known as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the main famous American medical author earlier than Benjamin Franklin as their advisor, Newman and Principe exhibit the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a well-known alchemist and argue that the various ideas and practices attribute of recent chemistry derive from alchemy. through examining Starkey's striking 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 lower than the identify of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The exciting "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favourite of Starkey, Boyle, or even of Lavoisier—emerges from this learn as an incredibly critical determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a typical emphasis on quantification, fabric creation, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of pursuits and practices from overdue medieval alchemy right down to and past the Chemical Revolution.

For an individual who desires to know how alchemy used to be truly practiced in the course of the clinical Revolution and what it contributed to the advance of contemporary chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire could 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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