2011. N. pag. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. .
This concept of acids and alkalis play an important role in the formation of chemistry as a separate discipline. Some more examples of techniques that were created by alchemists is when Hale developed a pedestal app... ... middle of paper ... ... the growth and founding of science; it is what taught ancient chemists about what counts as an experiment and how to think about matter at its most basic level. Through the two categories stated in this essay one can see why it should be considered an important science. The equipment and techniques proved that alchemists gave modern day scientists the basis for their experiments. Alchemists have discovered phenomena’s of disengagement and fixation, and the notion of phlogiston, which are crucial for today’s scientists.
Web. May 2014. Rowling, J.K.. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1997. Print.
The first textual evidence of alchemy dates to around 400 CE (Grun 31), but it likely extends as far back as the invention of metallurgy itself. Alchemy later developed into the science of chemistry, pioneered by Francis Bacon and Robert Boyle who desired to incorporate the principles of alchemy into a proper science (Gribbin 146). Throughout history and throughout old world, alchemists studied alchemy for scientific reasons. Despite being persecuted in various places and times, alchemists continued to be a powerful force in the advancement of all three’s interests well into the Renaissance. Alchemy originated in China, where alchemists strove to create the elixir of life, but their goal transformed as the concept of alchemy travelled west.
Alchemy, ancient art practiced especially in the Middle Ages, devoted chiefly to discovering a substance that would transmute the more common metals into gold or silver and to finding a means of indefinitely prolonging human life. Although its purposes and techniques were dubious and often illusory, alchemy was in many ways the predecessor of modern science, especially the science of chemistry. The birthplace of alchemy was ancient Egypt, where, in Alexandria, it began to flourish in the Hellenistic period; simultaneously, a school of alchemy was developing in China. The writings of some of the early Greek philosophers might be considered to contain the first chemical theories; and the theory advanced in the 5th century BC by Empedocles—that all things are composed of air, earth, fire, and water—was influential in alchemy. The Roman emperor Caligula is said to have instituted experiments for producing gold from orpiment, a sulfide of arsenic, and the emperor Diocletian is said to have ordered all Egyptian works concerning the chemistry of gold and silver to be burned in order to stop such experiments.
However, by performing experiments and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern chemistry. The distinction began to emerge when a clear differentiation was made between chemistry and alchemy by Robert Boyle in his work The Skeptical Chemist (1661). While both alchemy and chemistry are concerned with matter and its transformations, chemists are seen as applying scientific method to their work. Chemistry is considered to have become a full-fledged science with the work of Antoine Lavoisier, who developed a law of conservation of mass that demanded careful measurements and quantitative observations of chemical phenomena. The history of chemistry is intertwined with the history of thermodynamics, especially through the work of Willard Gibbs.