June 17, 2022
Scientific Revolution, ancient chemistry, Greek chemistry, alchemy, industrial chemistry, iatrochemistry, atomism, combustion, calcination, chemical nomenclature, chemical affinity.
This work resumes the results of a bibliographic research on the Scientific Revolution in chemistry. Documents from the history of science and the history of chemistry have been used up to the middle of the 19th century, especially those relating to the 18th century. Lavoisier's Elementary Treatise on Chemistry has been used as the original document of 18th century chemistry. The results have been obtained by contrasting the opinions of the authors used and using the historiographical data provided in their works. A scheme was first outlined and then completed which attempts to represent the main milestones in the constitution of scientific chemistry. After a brief introduction to the Scientific Revolution, two major stages in the history of chemistry are considered: the era of pre-scientific chemistry up to the 16th century, and the constitution of scientific chemistry from that century onwards. The first stage includes a review of early chemical knowledge, Greek philosophy of matter, alchemy, industrial chemistry and iatrochemistry. The second stage coincides with the rise of scientific experimentation and includes the phlogiston revolution, the chemistry of gases, the chemistry of precise measurements that with Lavoisier already reaches the level of a true experimental and theoretical science, including the internationalization of the chemical nomenclature for a variety of chemical substances that will not stop growing.