Download 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

Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the background of technological know-how Society.


What really 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 rules 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 admired 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 a few of the rules and practices attribute of recent chemistry derive from alchemy. through reading Starkey's remarkable laboratory notebooks, the authors exhibit 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 fascinating "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favourite of Starkey, Boyle, or even of Lavoisier—emerges from this learn as a shockingly relevant determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a standard emphasis on quantification, fabric creation, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of objectives 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 truly practiced through the clinical Revolution and what it contributed to the advance of recent chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire should be a veritable philosopher's stone.

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