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Phlogiston, and chemistry found the "flame element"


IN THE ATTIC OF SCIENCE (5/6) - For its proponents, phlogiston was present in all bodies and escaped during combustion. But the Lavoisier balance told the opposite…

How are diseases born?

What is at the center of the Earth?

What is fire?

Throughout history, man has tried to explain the world to himself…

and he has often been wrong


Le Figaro

tells you about some of the trial and error that made science.

"You do

n't have to understand chemistry, you don't have to know its history, to have (…) this pretentious and ridiculous disdain for the age of alchemy"

, wrote the German Justus von Liebig in the middle of the 19th century in his

Letters on Chemistry


Likewise, he continues, it is

“out of ignorance”

that one despises

“the second period of chemistry, called the period of phlogiston”.

This phlogiston (from a Greek word meaning "inflammable") nevertheless seems straight out of old alchemists' retorts: it would be a "flame substance" contained in all bodies, and escaping from them during combustion, according to a theory developed in 1697 by the German physician and chemist Georg Ernst Stahl.

He borrows it from his master, Joachim Becher...

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Source: lefigaro

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