By William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe
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 consultant, the formerly misunderstood interactions among Robert Boyle, widely recognized as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the main fashionable American clinical author earlier than Benjamin Franklin as their advisor, Newman and Principe display the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a well-known alchemist and argue that the various rules and practices attribute of contemporary chemistry derive from alchemy. via reading Starkey's notable 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 less than the identify of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The interesting "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favourite of Starkey, Boyle, or even of Lavoisier—emerges from this learn as an incredibly important determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a standard emphasis on quantification, fabric construction, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of objectives and practices from overdue medieval alchemy all the way down to and past the Chemical Revolution.
For an individual who desires to know how alchemy used to be truly practiced throughout the medical Revolution and what it contributed to the advance of recent chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire can be a veritable philosopher's stone.
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Extra info for Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry
Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry by William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe
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