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Alchemy Tried in the Fire

by William R. Newman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2010-11-15
Genre: Science
Pages: 359 pages
ISBN 13: 0226577058
ISBN 10: 9780226577050
Format: PDF, ePUB, MOBI, Audiobooks, Kindle

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Synopsis : Alchemy Tried in the Fire written by William R. Newman, published by University of Chicago Press which was released on 2010-11-15. Download Alchemy Tried in the Fire Books now! Available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. At the same time that Boyle was extracting and transmitting Starkey's secrets, however, Clodius himself was equally eagerly seeking Boyle's patronage. When Digby pressed his offers to support Clodius's laboratory, Clodius—at least ... -- Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the History of Science Society. What actually took place in the private laboratory of a mid-seventeenth century alchemist? How did he direct his quest after the secrets of Nature? What instruments and theoretical principles did he employ? Using, as their guide, the previously misunderstood interactions between Robert Boyle, widely known as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the most prominent American scientific writer before Benjamin Franklin as their guide, Newman and Principe reveal the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a famous alchemist and argue that many of the principles and practices characteristic of modern chemistry derive from alchemy. By analyzing Starkey's extraordinary laboratory notebooks, the authors show how this American "chymist" translated the wildly figurative writings of traditional alchemy into quantitative, carefully reasoned laboratory practice—and then encoded his own work in allegorical, secretive treatises under the name of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The intriguing "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favorite of Starkey, Boyle, and even of Lavoisier—emerges from this study as a surprisingly central figure in seventeenth-century "chymistry." A common emphasis on quantification, material production, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of goals and practices from late medieval alchemy down to and beyond the Chemical Revolution. For anyone who wants to understand how alchemy was actually practiced during the Scientific Revolution and what it contributed to the development of modern chemistry, Alchemy Tried in the Fire will be a veritable philosopher's stone.

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