- Chemistry is the second oldest science
- The only science that is older is Astronomy
- HISTORICAL QUESTS:
- Alchemists were the earliest chemists
(~1500 AD), but were not really scientists - they did not have
models to interpret their experimental results.
- Alchemy failed but mankind needs
"quests" to motivate them. The next quest was for the
elixir "vitae" - the elixir of life!
- The next quest was the explanation
of fire - What is fire (the first theory)?
- OTHER IMPORTANT CORNERSTONES
- Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794)
- It took over one hundred years before Becher's theory was
discarded by the scientific community.
- Lavoisier finally discarded it and correctly explained fire
as the combustion of matter with oxygen.
- Lavoisier also understood that if the science of chemistry
was to evolve a new more precise language needed to be developed.
John Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848)